All posts tagged 'helicopters'

A319 Lands On Antarctic Ice In Rescue Mission

Person At McMurdo Research Station Needed Medical Attention

Article by: www.aero-news.net

FMI: www.nsf.gov

An Airbus A319 made a dramatic flight to Antarctica Thursday to evacuate a person in need of medical attention from McMurdo Station (shown below during summer months). The crew had to wait for a break in the harsh Antarctic winter and land on a runway built of ice during a narrow "twilight" window during the near 24-hour darkness this time of year. Then consider that the temperatures Thursday during the operation hovered at -13 degrees Fahrenheit.

CNN reports that the United States sought assistance from an Australian medical team for the evacuation of the researcher, who was not identified. The plane was dispatched from Christchurch, New Zealand and arrived at the research station early in the afternoon local time. It was on the ground a little more than an hour before departing back to Christchurch.

In a news release prior to the flight, the National Science Foundation said that it had reached an agreement with the Australian Antarctic Division, which manages Australia's Antarctic research program, to make the Australian A319 available to fly the patient out. The Royal New Zealand Air Force agreed to provide search-and-rescue coverage for the flight to and from McMurdo Station. The agency said that prior to the flight, the patient was stable but could require corrective surgery beyond what could be provided by medical personnel at the station.

The three nations' Antarctic research programs have existing agreements under which such assets may be shared as needed.

The ice runway, known as Pegasus, is one of only a very few runways in Antarctica that can accommodate wheeled aircraft. Antarctica is currently emerging from its six-months-long night, so there is a period of twilight at mid-day that could assist pilots in landing on the ice runway.

The evacuation flight comes shortly before a regularly-scheduled series of late winter flights to prepare for the coming Antarctic research season, which gets underway in October.

(Image Credit: Peter Rejcek, National Science Foundation)

Eurocopter X3 begins testing; company calls it a turboprop-helicopter hybrid

Eurocopter raised the curtain today and gave the aviation world a look at its X3, a high-speed hybrid helicopter that the company calls “a new milestone in (its) innovation roadmap.”

The X3 will combine VTOL capabilities with a cruise speed of more than 220 knots, according to the company’s engineers.

The design includes a trio of rotors, with a five-blade main system on top and twin-prop short-span fixed wings on either side of the cockpit.

“This creates an advanced transportation system offering the speed of a turboprop-powered aircraft and the full hover flight capabilities of a helicopter,” says a statement on the company’s web site.

Read more about testing plans for the Eurocopter X3 after the jump. [more]

The company expects buyers to use the helicopter in long-range search and rescue missions, as well as coastal and border patrols, in addition to medical and military roles. The first X3 flight took place two weeks ago in France.

Initial testing will continue through the end of the year before speed testing starts in March 2011, the company said.

Read more about the today's development on the Eurocopter X3 from Aviation Week, Plane News, FlightGlobal and Business Jet Traveler.

New Garmin glass panel for helicopters, plus GPS tricks

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The above video comes from AvWeb and IFR Magazine. It gives some GPS Tricks for VOR Clearances.

Elsewhere in the sky, the FAA granted a supplemental-type certificate just before the Memorial Day holiday for a Garmin glass panel for helicopters. The G500H displays airspeed, attitude and vertical speed in addition to moving maps and terrain, with the option of having PFD on the left or right.

 

The certificate covers the Bell 206 and Bell 407. Garmin says the G500H takes the best features of the G600 and G500. It is compatible with the GNS 430W/530W series.

You can pick one up for just under $25 grand, including  the GDU 620 display/control unit, GRS 77H AHRS, GDC 74H digital air data computer, GMU 44 tri-axial magnetometer, and GTP 59 temp probe. The Garmin HSVT also is has a G500H option for around $8,000. 

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