Helishow 2012 Concludes in Dubai

09.11.2012 UAE
Helishow 2012 Concludes in Dubai

Helishow 2012 Concludes in Dubai

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Dubai Helishow 2012, the premier civil and military helicopter technology and operations exhibition in the Middle East held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, concluded Thursday, November 8th 2012 at the Meydan Hotel, Dubai at 9:30pm. The event culminated in a horse race, juxtaposed with the helicopters on display on the tarmac.

The biennial event, organized by the Domus Group, focused on two key areas of helicopter use - Military, Homeland Security and Civil Defence; and Air Medical and Rescue Services. The Helishow 2012 saw sustained interest and activity across three days, with over 2,000 trade visitors and conference delegates networking with close to 100 exhibitors from fifteen countries on the potential for rotary craft applications in areas such as search and rescue, fire fighting, military, homeland security and civil defence. The event also saw attendance from representatives of the UAE Navy, UAE Air Force, Abu Dhabi Air Wing, Royal Bahrain Air Force, UK Royal Navy and the Libyan Air Force.

A concurrent conference program was presented by conference partner Tangent Link, led by Conference Chairman Rear Admiral Terry Loughran. The first day conference on November 7th explored the need for helicopters in medical evacuation and fire fighting in high-rise megapolises. Conventional ground based methods prove useless at heights over 100m due to reach issues, necessitating an investment in rotary assets for rapid response to avoid substantial damages and loss of life in case of disaster.

The second day of the conference program focused on Heli-Borne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, a capability essential for any nation determined to exercise sovereignty over its borders and economic zones and guard against the destabilising effects of piracy, insurgency, drugs, arms, people trafficking and acts of terrorism. Conference speakers pointed to the increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, in supplementing helicopters in operation.

Conference speakers and experts noted unmanned aerial vehicles’ potential to support and enhance current capabilities of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), their speed and ease of use, and their cost-effectiveness. On average, a drone costs USD 70,000, compared to a few million USDs for helicopters. Drones are also considered safe and environmentally friendly for use in congested areas, because they cannot be heard from 400 ft.

The Helishow also had Ivan Kristoff, dubbed the latter day Spiderman for his expertise in mid-air and high rise rope rescue, present his Mid Air Rescue Systems (MARS), which allows for passenger evacuation from planes in mid air in case of emergency.

He also conducted a test, high in the air, on the wireless video conferencing capabilities near the Meydan hotel area. From on board a Bell helicopter, he checked the speed of data transfer for a video signal. Kristoff explained to the UAE Minister of Economy that he wishes to do his series of world records, where he breaks his extant world record for solo ascending and descending from a helicopter rope, in Dubai. Such a project requires real time video documentation and communication.

Gulf Helicopters, one of the largest helicopter providers of commercial transportation and vertical lift services to industries within the Middle East and select international markets, has partnered with Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer AugustaWestland to consult on the creation of larger carrying capacity rotary machines. The Augusta 189, which increases the previous 139 model’s capacity from 13 to 19 seats, is configured for offshore and onshore transits. Gulf Helicopters has placed orders for the new Augusta 189, and the first delivery is expected in early 2014.

“We’ve been working with AgustaWestland for many years, and realized there was discernable potential for the manufacturer to create a new machine particularly suited to offshore and onshore operations requiring increased people carrying and lift capacity. We are delighted to be consulting with AgustaWestland on the configuration and commercial opportunities for the new Agusta 189, and have also placed orders for these new machines to facilitate our operations,” said Capt. Khalifa M.Al Mohannadi, Deputy Chief Pilot at Gulf Helicopters.

Training company Jetstream announced the signing of an agreement with Qatar Airways at the Dubai Helishow 2012 for the provision of training courses.

MedEvac, the US-based Air Medical Services Provider, released a report at the Dubai Helishow 2012 indicating the community and commercial advantages of critical care transport for patient. The report indicated that in the United States, an average spend of USD 442 million per critical care transport unit with 160 aircraft yielded profits of USD 247 million per year, or USD 1.54 million per aircraft, making it commercially viable to create critical care transport. Other benefits include higher patient survivability, job creation, and the creation and transfer of expertise.

Helistore, the Austrian based online radio-controlled helicopter and drone shop, displayed its drone for the first time at the Helishow 2012. The drone, approximately 90cm long and across, offers improve aerial footage in FullHD 1080p with 50 frames a second. The electric drone can be controlled out of line of sight. “We’re displaying the drone for the very first time, and the interest we have received has made us think about launching it commercially after optimizations,” said Tom Kreuzberger, Partner and CEO, Helistore.

Members of the UAE based Tosh Group, representatives of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) visited the show to explore the possibilities of having HAL participate in the next edition of the Dubai Helishow. In 2014, HAL is planning to showcase their latest DHRUV Advanced Light Helicopter, a 5.5-ton rotary machine that can be used for civil defence, rescue and ambulance purposes. The machine also has military capabilities, and is used by the Indian Army.

Key exhibitors at the event included Sikorsky, Russian Helicopters, Hawker Pacific Airservices, Bell Helicopters, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation, Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, PHI Air Medical, ARMA-Global, Aerogulf, Aviahelp, HR Smith group, Enterprise control systems, and Gulf Helicopters.


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