Commercial, Military, Personal/Corporate

R&WI’s 10 Most-Read Web Stories of 2016

By S.L. Fuller | December 27, 2016
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Merlin Helicopter Releasing Decoy Flares

Photo courtesy of the Royal Navy

Whatever the year brings for the industry, R&WI aims to be right there in the thick of it. 2016 may not have been the easiest year at market, but that does not imply a lack of activity. You may read more on the year's activities as well as our outlook for 2017 in our upcoming December 2016/January 2017 issue this week.

Take a look at our 10 most-read articles of the year and see what items were on everyone’s mind. No. 1 might surprise you.

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10. Sky Cranes, Black Hawks Fight Fires in Southern US

Among all the things that helicopters are, “useful tools” might be at the top of the list. This Dec. 1 article kicks off our list, highlighting just one of the many fires that helicopters were called in to fight this year.

9. Kaman Founded 71 Years Ago

On Dec. 12, 1945, Charles Kaman founded Kaman Aircraft Co. R&WI Managing Editor Amy Kluber revisited his innovations 71 years later to the day in our ninth most-read article of the year.

8. Sikorsky’s Future Under Lockheed Martin

2016 was the first full year Sikorsky operated under new parent Lockheed Martin. In October, R&WI published a status report given by Dale Bennett, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems’ EVP.

7. Report: Japan Suspends Osprey Flight Following Crash

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey has been in service since 2007, some stationed in Okinawa, Japan. On the week of Dec. 11, one of the aircraft stationed there was involved in a nonfatal crash off the coast. As a result, the Osprey was temporarily suspended from flight. It has since resumed.

6. L-M Still Getting Its Head Around Sikorsky

Lockheed Martin’s acquisition of Sikorsky appeared to leave many questions in the minds of our readers in 2016, as another status report has landed on our list. This article was published in April, which R&WI Editor-in-Chief James T. McKenna wrote after L-M’s Q1 financial report was published.

5. Election Brings ‘Hover Lover’ to White House

Breaking into the top half of our list is President-Elect Donald Trump. If you haven’t already, read about what exactly Trump’s helicopter experience entails. He may be new to politics, but he’s not a new face to the industry.

4. Bell CEO Addresses Setbacks, Progress at Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

It’s no secret that 2016 was a tough year for the industry. Bell Helicopter President and CEO Mitch Snyder was sure to address the issue, but emphasized the progress the Texas-based company has been making despite the setbacks.

3. Norway’s Statoil Vows Off Super Pumas, Turns to S-92s

2016 saw Airbus Helicopters Super Puma in rough waters. The fatal CHC Helicopter-operated Super Puma crash during a Norwegian Statoil operation took its toll on the brand. In our No. 3 spot is the news that Statoil has turned away from the aircraft and is instead employing Sikorsky S-92s.

2. 525 Probe Eyes Tail, Nose Blade Strikes

The Bell Helicopter 525 Relentless flight test crash in July was a shock to the industry. R&WI, along with the rest of the industry — Bell included — wanted to know exactly what happened. To date, the investigation is ongoing. But in this article, we offered as much of an explanation as we could at the time.

1. Flying Through the Vortex

What was the most-read article of 2016? Answer: an article featured in our September 2015 issue. But its consistently relevant; the science behind the vortex ring state has not gone away. This is a good read if you want to know more about what causes it and how to deal with it should you find yourself flying through the vortex.

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