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  • Helitech 2011 by Rickard Gillberg
    Helitech 2011 by Rickard Gillberg
    Helitech 2011 by Rickard Gillberg
    Helitech 2011 by Rickard Gillberg
    Helitech 2011 by Rickard Gillberg
Once every two years the elite of European helicopter operators goes to London to participate in the big Helitech exhibition. This year was no exception.
The 2011 edition of Helitech was held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridge, on September 27-29. The show, which is the largest dedicated helicopter exhibition in Europe, celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, and it served a blazing sun all days long.
© Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg


The first time Nordic Rotors visited the exhibition was back in September 2001, in the immediate aftermath of "September 11". The show was shaken by the ongoing aviation constraints, and people feared the worse. Ten years later we're dealing with the global financial situations and a depressed helicopter market. However, that did not affect the show.
This year's exhibition was everything but gloomy, it expressed a positive approach and had a genuinely optimistic atmosphere. The exhibitors displayed their new innovations and the manufacturers were happy to show off their latest models. All except for one - Bell Helicopter - which was nowhere to be found (other than sponsoring the conference area).
© Wictor Pantzar© Wictor Pantzar© Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg


Several newcomers caught some extra attention. A brand new Guimbal Cabri G2 was proudly displayed for the first time on UK soil. The helicopter had just arrived from France, imported by the UK distributor Cotswold Helicopter Centre. It goes without saying that the exotic R22-challenger Cabri got a great deal of attention by the visitors. Click here to read more about Nordic Rotors’ test flight of the Cabri.

Another very interesting helicopter was the turbine-powered Robinson R66, which has yet to be certified by EASA. Heli Air UK displayed one R66 (the first one in Europe), and Sloane Helicopters showed its production sister (nr 16 & 17). The two helicopters caught a lot of curiosity from all kinds of visitors. One classy woman looked at the backseat of the aircraft and expressed, "This is ridiculous, it's just like the backseat of a Porsche!". Tiny or not, there is no doubt that this aircraft will become a very popular helicopter in the future.

The new, yet unflown and uncertified, HAD1-T Helineo of the French manufacturer Heli Air Design was displayed in front of the main exhibition area. The two-seat model features a turbine engine and it will come at an operating cost comparable with piston-engined helicopters.

© R. Gillb.© R. Gillb.AgustaWestland displayed mockups of two new products, the AW169 and the AW189 (10 years ago they showed the mockup of the AW139 here). The 10-seat 4,5-tonne AW169 is meant to fill the gap between the AW109 and the AW139. The larger 18-seat medium-lift AW189 is meant as a larger alternative to the AW139, and a competitor to Eurocopter’s EC 175. The new AgustaWestland models are planned to be in service by 2014-2015. Their all-so-popular AW139 was nowhere to be found, but several members of the AW109 family were displayed, including the DaVinci and Grand New versions. AgustaWestland did also show its Świdnik product, the rugged 12-seat PZL W-3 Sokól.

Eurocopter had a large portion of its civil range on display, including a mockup of the brand new EC 145 T2, which is a fenestron version of the popular EC 145. The manufacturer’s presence was evident, with one stand representing Eurocopter and one separate chalet for its subsidiary Eurocopter UK. One of the most exotic exhibits by EC UK was the extremely luxurious EC 135 Hermes (l'hélicoptère par hermès).

Several MD902 Explorers and a few MD500Es represented MD Helicopters' family. Sikorsky had brought one deluxe S-76C++ VIP, that was accompanies by other S-76s in the exhibition area. Enstrom had one model 480 on display.

All in all Helitech 2011 had an impressive line-up of nearly 40 helicopters in the static display. Adding to that, more than 40 visiting helicopters came in for the fly-in. To spice things up even further, the visitors were treated with a surprise visit by an Apache Longbow and a dogfight between two vintage airplanes. In the end, a total of two hundred companies exhibited and more than 5000 people visited the show (pre-ABC audit figures). After an event like this we're already looking forward to Helitech 2013!


Apache Longbow © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Wictor Pantzar© Wictor Pantzar © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Wictor Pantzar© Wictor Pantzar




Cabri G2 © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg




Robinson R66 © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg




Heli Air Design HAD1-T Helineo © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg




AgustaWestland © Wictor Pantzar© Wictor Pantzar © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Wictor Pantzar© Wictor Pantzar © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg




Eurocopter © Wictor Pantzar© Wictor Pantzar © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Mattias Axelsson© Mattias Axelsson © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Mattias Axelsson© Mattias Axelsson © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg [101]




MD Helicopters © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg




Various © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Rickard Gillberg© Rickard Gillberg © Wictor Pantzar© Wictor Pantzar

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