Helicopters

  • The 52nd edition of the Paris Air Show has taken over Le Bourget Airport in Paris this week. Before the show opens to the public on Friday, let's take a look at what trade and media visitors have been treated to so far – both in the sky and on the ground.
  • ​If you want a helicopter to be faster in forward flight, why not just give it some wings and a set of props? That was the thinking behind the Eurocopter X3 demonstrator aircraft. Airbus is building on that concept, in the form of the Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft – or Racer, for short.
  • ​​Although Airbus' passenger-carrying drones may still be years away, that hasn't stopped the aerospace company from getting an autonomous helicopter off the ground. A demonstrator version of the VSR700 Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) has recently made its first self-piloted test flights.
  • Lockheed Martin has released a new video showing one of its two S-97 Raider prototype attack helicopters strutting its aerial stuff. The Raider is being developed as part of a bid to provide the US armed forces with their next generation of combat rotorcraft.
  • Lockheed Martin has provided a glimpse of its Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift concept. The futuristic helicopter comes in Assault and Attack variants that build on the X2 demonstrator that set an unofficial helicopter speed record in 2010.
  • Bell Helicopter has dipped its toes in the concept waters for the first time with the FCX-001​. Unveiled at Heli-Expo 2017, the rotorcraft concept features an airframe crafted from sustainable materials, a hybrid power system, an artificial intelligence co-pilot, and morphing rotor blades.
  • ​Boeing has unveiled its MH-139 helicopter, which will be entered into the UH-1N Replacement Program competition to find a replacement for the US Air Force's venerable UH-1N “Huey” multi-role helicopter fleet.
  • In our rush to accept multicopter drones into our world, have we forgotten the advantages of the humble helicopter? One Canadian company says its single top rotor helicopter drones are as stable and easy to fly as a multicopter, but with several key advantages.
  • In what Lockheed Martin claims is a first, pilot-optional helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have worked as a team to successfully carry out firefighting operations and a search and rescue mission.
  • In North Virginia, Aurora Flight Sciences announced that it's integrating the company's Tactical Autonomous Aerial Logistics System on a UH-1H helicopter as part of a program to produce a "platform agnostic" system that can be used on almost any VTOL aircraft to make it pilot optional.
  • Several years ago, students from the University of Maryland achieved the world's longest human-powered helicopter flight. In 2014, a new team took over and began converting the aircraft to solar-electric power. It made its first purely sun-powered flight late last month.​
  • When heavy fog or clouds roll in, navigating can become a dangerous proposition for a helicopter pilot. A new augmented reality vision system out of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) though, could help them see clearly through difficult weather using more than just their eyes.