2014-04-14 11:29:42
Production Potential
by Elan Head

Now contemplating renewed K-Max production, Kaman has become a go-to source for major aerospace OEMs. ...



Twenty years after the Kaman K-Max achieved United States Federal Aviation Administration certification, Kaman has said it is willing to consider resuming commercial production of the intermeshing- rotor utility helicopter with sufficient commitments from prospective customers.

Kaman made the announcement at Heli-Expo 2014 in Anaheim, Calif., where Kaman Aerosystems Division president Jim Larwood stated, “There is clearly demand for new aircraft to support firefighting, logging or an...

2014-04-10 10:56:00
Network Appeal
Story and photos by Skip Robinson

After a period of dramatic growth, Life Flight Network now spans four states in the Northwestern U.S., and with a new fleet of AW119Kxs coming online, it is well set to meet its growing demands....




With an area of operation spanning hundreds of thousands of square miles of the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West, the not-for-profit air medical service Life Flight Network (LFN) certainly has its work cut out. The Portland, Ore.-based operation, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2013, has grown from humble beginnings into a multiple award-winning service with 13 rotary-wing and five fixed-wing bases spread throughout the states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho.

2014-04-07 10:51:39
A Higher Level
story by Oliver Johnson | photos by Heath Moffatt

Latitude Technologies charts a course to the future of aircraft data management....



In the helicopter industry, there are many stories of great success that start with humble beginnings. But even a multinational operating behemoth — or a maintenance facility that has grown to have a presence in each and every continent around the globe — even they must have started out with at least one helicopter, or a small corner of a hangar. Latitude Technologies, whose focused suite of flight data, tracking, satcom, and messaging equipment and services are in use with over 500 commercial operators in more than 3...

2014-04-02 11:19:56
The New North Sea
by Kenneth I. Swartz

With the discovery of enormous deepwater oilfields far from its coast, Brazil’s offshore helicopter fleet has tripled in size — and its growth shows no sign of slowing down....



As the clock ticks down to the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in São Paulo, Brazil, on June 12, the country is busily preparing for the start of an unprecedented period of international focus. This is because, in just two years’ time, Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second largest city, will host the Summer Olympics. Holding the world’s two biggest sporting competitions in the space of 26 months certainly presents a challenge, but the country is hoping the required changes to its infrastructure — and ...

2014-03-31 11:31:44
Heli-Ski Nation
by Elan Head

Ranking among the most challenging of helicopter operations, heli-skiing is a booming business in Canada – but also a high-stakes, intensely competitive one....



In May 1963, the mountain guide Hans Gmoser chartered a Bell 47G-3 from Alpine Helicopters to fly a group of skiers up Mount Sir Wilfrid Laurier, a high peak in British Columbia’s Cariboo Mountains. It wasn’t the first recorded instance of heli-skiing: that occurred back in 1948, when the Canadian commercial helicopter operator Skyways Services Ltd. trialed the concept. Neither was it Gmoser’s first attempt, as he had experimented with heli-skiing a few months earlier. Nevertheless, that May expedition was...

2014-03-25 11:03:21
Going the distance
by Elan Head

With a base in the Azores and responsibility for one of the largest search-and-rescue regions in the world, Portugal’s 751 Squadron performs ultra-long-range, over-water SAR missions with discipline and professionalism....



Editor's note: Since this story was first published, Portugal's 751 Squadron has surpassed 3,000 lives saved. Vertical congratulates the squadron on this impressive achievement.

Portugal is, by some measures, a small country. With a land area of around 35,500 square miles (91,900 square kilometers), it is about the same size as the state of Maine, and its population of 10.5 million is only slightly larger than that of New York City. But its strategic position on the North Atlantic — and m...

2014-03-18 12:02:58
The world's test pilot school
Story and photos by Jason Colquhoun

For more than three decades, many of the aircraft industry’s most successful test pilots have begun their careers in the High Desert of Mojave, Calif., at the National Test Pilot School....



There is a certain beauty and allure to the High Desert of Southern California. And for aircraft enthusiasts, this area is special on a whole other level — these vast, windblown plains have, since the 1940s, been witness to some of aviation’s greatest developmental moments.

Nestled in this somewhat austere, sparsely populated region some 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Los Angeles is the National Test Pilot School (NTPS) in Mojave. The NTPS has been in operation for over 30 year...

2014-02-21 12:53:11
Turbo charged
by Oliver Johnson

Vertical visits Turbomeca's headquarters to talk new engines, new collaborations, and re-thinking customer support....



Joseph Szydlowski sure picked a picturesque spot. Walking along the main street in the elegantly designed new production facility that bears his name, it’s hard to escape the beauty of the Pyrenees Mountains that surround it — and easy to understand why these surroundings have provided such inspiration to the company he cofounded just over 75 years ago. That company is Turbomeca, which today claims about one third of the global engine sales for rotary-wing aircraft. Many of those engi...

2014-02-19 11:12:10
On the comeback trail
by Rob Erdos

Vertical test pilot Robert Erdos visits Airbus Helicopters’ HQ to get the lowdown on the much-publicized return to service of the EC225 — and gets behind the controls for an evaluation of its capabilities. Click through for his full report and an exclusive in-cockpit video feature....



There could be no mistaking the purpose of my visit to the Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) Test Center in Marignane, France. The EC225 has been in the headlines for much of the past 18 months, due to the extensive investigation, redesign and testing of the section of its gearbox that caused two high profile ditchings in the North Sea in 2012. With 93 percent of the worldwide EC225/725 fleet now back in service, the manufacturer was keen to showcase its capabilities. In the course of a comprehensive evaluation flight, I saw firsthand how the EC225 has earned its key place in the offshore oil-andgas transport secto...

2014-02-12 10:56:39
Northern light twins
by Kenneth I. Swartz

Light twin engine aircraft were slow to find a home in Canada, but recent developments in the utility sector have seen a boom in the aircraft’s popularity....



A growing number of utility helicopter customers in Canada are now flying with a new companion — a second engine.

These helicopters can be found flying along power lines and pipeline right-of-ways, on heli-seismic jobs and movie sets, as well as fighting fires and supporting the development of major oil and gas fields in western and northern Canada.

Since the first light twin engine helicopter (light twin) appeared in Canada in the mid-1970s, the domestic market for light ...


 1 2 3 >  Last ›