Sea of troubles

This year’s revamped Helitech show at London’s ExCeL, taking place next week, comes at a time when the civil rotorcraft market is looking healthier than it has for some time. Demand is booming, especially in emerging markets such as China and Brazil, for helicopters in roles from law enforcement, film and television, VIP transport, offshore, medevac and mining. Even in Europe, the sector appears robust. However, recent accidents in the North Sea have put the spotlight on the safety record of operators in the oil and gas segment, and this is bound to be one of the talking points at the event. Our 17 September cover feature – Sea of Troubles – looks at the arguments.

The issue also has other features about the market. We look at the rise of simulator training for helicopter pilots, how operators in the UK’s oil capital Aberdeen are finding the right flightcrew, testing the crash resistant qualities of composite aerostructures in helicopters, and the creation of the first unified helicopter police service for England and Wales. There is also an update on civil helicopters currently under development.

In news: the USAF’s search for a new Air Force One, EADS units embrace Airbus rebranding and analysis on a number of incident and accident investigations. There is also a report from the UK’s main defence show, DSEI and a report on VistaJet’s plans to break into the US business jet charter market.


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