Civil helicopters: The latest on the market

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eurocopterec175

 © Eurocopter
Eurocopter is making steady progress on its medium lift EC175 helicopter, a joint venture with China's AVIC

With the worst of the economic downturn behind them, helicopter manufacturers and operators are turning to innovation, safety and efficiency to gain an edge over rivals. A peek at what is happening in the advanced development labs at the four top helicopter producers worldwide reveals an exciting decade to come for vertical lift, not just in terms of technology but also for the resulting safety, efficiency and community acceptance gains. A preview is available today in the Bell 429, which wraps advanced design features with safety-enhancing pilot tools. Not happy to wait, operators are evolving best-practice situational awareness and safety management system tools, as demonstrated by Pittsburgh-based emergency medical services provider STAT MedEvac.