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Australian Army scores Bulls-Eye with first Hellfire II launched from a Eurocopter Tiger A...

August 11, 2005 The Australian Army scored a first when it performed the first successful firing of a HELLFIRE II missile from Australia's Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH), at the Woomera test range in Australia's southern desert earlier this week. The Tiger is the first non-U.S. platform to integrate the HELLFIRE II missile. The missile was equipped with an inert warhead and was launched in the lock-on-before-launch mode by a Eurocopter test pilot, targeting a simulated armored personnel carrier (APC) target six kilometers downrange. The target was designated by the launching ARH helicopter. The missile struck dead center, leaving a gaping hole in the target. The Hellfire II comes in four models: the high-explosive anti-tank missile, the blast fragmentation missile, the millimeter-wave radar Longbow missile and the thermobaric Hellfire missile. Watch the videos inside to understand the differences between each lethal variant.  Read More

Next generation MH60-R submarine hunter and surface attack helicopter begins production

August 5, 2005 The first new production Sikorsky MH-60R took to the skies last week indicating the next phase of naval helicopter warfare is about to begin. The MH-60R is the next generation submarine hunter and surface attack helicopter and will replace the US fleet's legacy SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft. The Navy is expected to order as many as 254 MH-60R aircraft through 2015, with production quantities increasing to 30 aircraft per year.  Read More

Bell Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH): Hunter AND Killer

August 2, 2005 Bell Helicopter last week was awarded a US$2.2 billion contract by the United States Army to build 368 of its next generation Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) between 2006 and 2013. The ARH will replace the Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Helicopter and it is a significant improvement being fast agile and able to stalk its prey like nothing else in the air. Indeed, there's nothing it can’t spot in any weather, day or night thanks to its FLIR system. Not only can it track its prey, it can also be proactive thanks to an array of weapons systems such as a 2,000rpm Gatling gun, 2.75 inch rockets, Hellfire missiles or as many as 38 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) tubes at one time. With room for two pilots and three passengers, the ARH has room for the smartest weapons of all. Finally, it thrives in adverse conditions with its high ballistic tolerance, crashworthiness and the latest aircraft survivability equipment. Bell’s ARH is a militarized version of its highly successful 407 single engine light helicopter – sometimes known as the “sports car of the air.” Capable of being equipped with a wide variety of weapons, the Bell ARH will provide the Army with exceptional mission versatility and with the flexibility to accomplish armed reconnaissance, light attack, troop insertion, and special operations missions with a single aircraft. Check out this video of the Bell ARH doing its thing.  Read More

Fire Scout helicopter UAV successfully fires test rockets

July 27, 2005 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's RQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned air vehicle (UAV) reached another important milestone this week when the UAV successfully fired two test rockets. This is the first successful live weapons fire from an autonomous unmanned helicopter. This event proves Fire Scout's ability to perform strike missions -- in addition to conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance -- and subsequently expands its capabilities.  Read More

Fire Scout UAV struts its stuff

July 14, 2005 The most advanced vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) tactical unmanned air vehicle (UAV) in the World is the Northrop Grumman RQ-8A (AKA the Fire Scout) and the Fire Scout recently demonstrated its vast capabilities during a two-hour flight demonstration for this year's Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's North American convention held in Baltimore. The capabilities of the RQ-8A and next generation RQ-8B which will offer greater endurance and payload capabilities, will be critical to the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)'s mission to protect and monitor the shoreline, coastal waters and open seas. These will include Fire Scout's ability to deploy precision-guided munitions and to carry several new payloads for advanced communications, maritime and land-based surveillance, and mine detection. The RQ-8B VTOL UAV is pictured with the LCS at right and will also play a major role in the US Armed Forces Future Combat System (FCS)  Read More

Schiebel next-generation UAV Camcopter

March 23, 2005 Looking for all the world like a flying shark, Schiebel's next-generation Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Camcopter S-100 was shown for the first time at the recent International Defence Expo. The Camcopter S-100 is a medium -range, medium endurance VTOL UAV system designed to provide a unique balance between advanced capabilities and operation in tactical environments. The remarkable potential in both civilian and military applications for unmanned autonomous helicopters was previously detailed in our Yamaha RMAX UAV story, though the Schiebel Camcopter's focus is primarily military.  Read More

George's new helicopter ... US101

January 29, 2005 George W is updating the fleet all round it seems. Just a few days ago we saw the new presidential limousine, and now comes the news that a new Presidential helicopter has been selected to provide a safe and secure "Oval Office in the Sky." Unlike Cadillac One, the selection process for the Presidential helicopter has been ongoing for some time. The fleet of helicopters currently used by the president includes 30-year old aircraft that were designed in the sixties, fielded in the seventies and no longer has the growth capability to incorporate the equipment necessary to provide suitable presidential support in the post 9-11 environment.  Read More

The Airscooter: a helicopter for the home?

January 21, 2005 The AirScooter II is an ultralight helicopter designed for easy control and manoeuvrability that looks set to take personal recreational airborne vehicles to new heights. Designed by AirScooter Corporation, the AirScooter II is a vehicle that has looked to aviation's past to help develop its future. In building and designing the AirScooter II, inventor and AirScooter Corporation cofounder Woody Norris and his team have successfully adapted a technology that has had a long line of difficulties in getting off the ground. We all recognise the modern helicopter, with its main rotor and tail rotor, but in terms of rotorcraft, the coaxial type had seemed likely to be limited to high-tech military and large transport helicopters. but things are progressing well and the future looks incredibly bright for the innovative and intelligent design of AirScooter II, an ultra-lightweight coaxial rotorcraft helicopter.  Read More

CarterCopter: a high-speed, low-cost helicopter

Mass personal flight will become a reality sometime this century and one of the companies vying for a share of this lucrative market will be Carter Aviation, creator of the CarterCopter - a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft projected to cruise at 800 kmh (500mph) at 45,000 feet or 300 kmh at sea level. Suitable for designs as small as a two-seater, all the way through to Jumbo size, the CarterCopter's future is very promising.  Read More

The Next Step: Cars that Fly

It would look right at home on the set of Bladerunner or the latest Star Wars film, but the Moller M400 Skycar - a versatile, economical, safe, environmentally-responsible Flying Car - is definitely for real.June 3, 2004 It would look right at home on the set of Bladerunner or the latest Star Wars film, but the Moller M400 Skycar - a versatile, economical, safe, environmentally-responsible Flying Car - is definitely for real. Opening up the next frontier in automotive personal transport, the SkyCar is a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) vehicle with a cruising speed of 600kmh, a range of more than 1400km, runs on almost any fuel from diesel to natural gas and achieves better fuel efficiency than many sports cars (15mpg or 19 litres per 100km).  Read More

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