It is altogether fitting and proper that my first editor’s note comes to you from Amarillo, Texas, where I’ll soon see a revolutionary new rotorcraft in action.
Now is an exciting time in aviation — and rotorcraft, in particular — with the advent of new airframes like Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor, and its most direct competitor for U.S. Army money, the Sikorsky S-97 Raider and its bigger cousin the SB-1 Defiant.
And now R&WI has a new executive editor. Nice to meet you.
I look forward to bringing you stories about these platforms and many other groundbreaking technological achievements in the months and years to come.
After three years covering ground military forces — and the aircraft that provide them cover in combat — for sister publication Defense Daily, I was offered the pilot seat at this magazine. I have worked for periodicals and daily newspapers before, and I am excited for the opportunity to publish both timely news on our website and deeply reported stories in our bimonthly issues.
In the past month, we have increased the volume of news on our website, which also hits readers’ inboxes by way of The Rotorcraft Collective. None of that will change.
In this issue, we tackle China’s emerging helicopter market, where ongoing real-estate investment and urban development are driving demand for the transport of people and goods (“China Gears for Growth"). Companies like Leonardo, Airbus and Bell are looking to get a toehold across the Pacific, where China also is working to boost domestic aircraft manufacturing.
Senior Managing Editor Amy Kluber writes of cruising across Southern Florida with Miami-based U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations agents in search of drug smugglers (“Eye in the Sky"). During the spring break rush off Miami, a UH-60 seems the perfect platform for running boat license numbers in search of illicit activity, she reports.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the introduction of that aircraft. In an upcoming issue, we will bring you the history of the Black Hawk through the eyes of pilots that flew it in combat. In this issue, our test pilot Frank Lombardi reviews cockpit upgrades that will keep the venerable aircraft technologically relevant for years (“Old Analog Dog..."). We also look at a new weapons system that brings efficiency to the platform for militaries (“Black Hawk Evolves...").
In the coming months, we will launch a new vehicle for R&WI content. In a between-issue edition via email, we will provide more of the longform stories you love that detail the needle-movers of the rotorcraft industry. The name for this product is still up in the air, but you will see it starting early August. Feel free to give us suggestions, but Helicopter McHelicopterface is off the table.
I’m excited to be on this flight with you, readers. RWI