Rotor & Wing International

Love You, Helos, Go Away

As we went to press, the Northern Hemisphere again was in the midst of severe natural calamities.

As we went to press, the Northern Hemisphere again was in the midst of severe natural calamities. Seasonal storms’ flooding and landslides killed nearly 1,000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of structures in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. In the U.S., Harvey’s devastation was second only to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, and Irma was bearing down on Florida. From North America’s Pacific coast to Portugal, France, Croatia and Montenegro on the Adriatic and Georgia, wildfires raged.

People love helicopters at such times. Countless news clips and photographs testified to this. In India, air force helicopter crews have been busy flying flood-relief missions since July, and their counterparts in Nepal were doing the same. In the U.S. South, military rotorcraft rescued flood survivors and relieved thousands of the stranded.

Throughout the world, military crews were joined by ones from government agencies, charities, commercial and private operators.

Yet the goodwill from such work rarely lasts.

After skies clear, floods subside, wildfires die and people start rebuilding their lives, gratitude for angels from above will be replaced by complaints about helicopter noise, gripes about frequent flights by “fat cats” and fears of such machines’ safety. All too swiftly, public sentiment will return not to integrating vertical flight more into daily life, but segregating it, even though times as these demonstrate clearly the vast public benefit of greater integration. Notably, HAI’s Matt Zuccaro will present “Aviation Under Attack” at early October’s Helitech show in London.

The challenges of more effectively integrating vertical flight into daily public life are among the subjects we will discuss Sept. 20 and 21 at the Rotorcraft Business & Technology Summit, in Fort Worth, Texas. Leaders from transportation giant Uber and Airbus will discuss their vision for, and investment in, “urban mobility” initiatives to make on-demand vertical-flight transportation widely available in big cities.

Some in this industry embrace a mindset of us against the rest of the world. That is not a winning approach. We look forward to advancing a more winning on through our Summit’s discussions.

With this issue, we welcome a new team member: Mark Holmes, who recently was promoted to Access Intelligence’s Aerospace Group content director and program chair. He had served as editorial director of Avionics and Via Satellite; I lead the former as editor-in-chief.

Mark’s leadership and vision are key drivers in the success of those brands. At the Global Connected Aircraft Summit in June, he secured high-valued speakers from outfits such as Netflix, Facebook and Google and has done the same for Access Intelligence’s first-ever CyberSat 17 Summit, set for Nov. 7 and 8 in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, with confirmed speakers from the FBI, U.S. Air Force and Homeland Security Dept. Mark will oversee all editorial and event content for R&WI and the other brands. I look forward to working under him as he brings his leadership and expertise to the development of that content. RWI