Columbia Helicopters acquisition by Bristow Group called off

Bristow Group has announced they have mutually agreed with Columbia Helicopters to terminate Bristow’s agreement to acquire Columbia.  In connection with the termination, Bristow has paid $20 million to Columbia.  Bristow, Columbia and Columbia’s shareholders have agreed to release each other from all claims in connection with the purchase agreement and the related transactions. Since the announcement […]

CalFire releases image of their Sikorsky S70i

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) has released images of their first Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk, including the one seen here.  The helicopter has been built at the manufacturer’s plant at Mielec in Poland, and has been transferred to the United Rotorcraft facility for conversion to Firehawk standard.  This primarily requires the […]

Night firebombing deployed for the first time in Australia

The two night fire suppression helicopters from Ballarat and Mangalore were sent to the Rosedale fire in Gippsland and operated for a few hours overnight within a defined area of 500 hectares.  Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said the helicopters were deployed as part of the continuing trial into night fire suppression operations in Victoria. […]

Viking CL515 details posted on YouTube

A video posted on YouTube just before Christmas provides more information than ever before on Viking Air’s plans for a new model to succeed the CL415 scooping air tanker.  The upper parts of of the firefighting tanks will be enlarged to increase capacity by 15% to 7000 litres.  The video is clearly an official media […]

Western Australia ramps up aerial firefighting capacity

Western Australia’s aerial firefighting fleet can fly further and for a much longer period than ever before, thanks to a new well-equipped Dauphin helicopter with advanced hazard-mapping technology.  Known by its callsign “Firebird 661”, the aircraft will boost WA’s aerial surveillance and reconnaissance capability, with targetted availability of up to 306 days per year compared to […]

California Army National Guard new UH-60Ms made debut during Camp Fire

Two of the Army’s newest helicopters worked their first wildfire missions recently as the California National Guard supported state agencies battling the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California. A pair of UH-60M Black Hawk medium-lift helicopters from the California Army National Guard’s 1st Assault Helicopter Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment, deployed from Joint Forces Training Base, […]

Kaman commits to a third K-Max production batch

Kaman Aerospace has announced two new orders for its K-Max helicopter, and a commitment to another production batch.  The company resumed K-Max production in 2015 after a more than decade long hiatus with an initial commitment to build at least ten new aircraft.  With eight commitments to date, the new orders conclude the second production […]

Manitoba Government privatises aerial firefighting fleet

The Government of Manitoba has contracted with Babcock Canada to provide services for the suppression of wildfires, including the use of water bombers, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler has announced. The transaction is the result of a competitive RFP process. “Our government is committed to protecting Manitobans from wildfires and that’s what this agreement delivers,” said […]

Simplex update from Zhuhai Air Show

This year’s Zhuhai International Air Show, which was held between November 6-11, saw Oregon-based Simplex Aerospace marketing its wares in the International Hall. The company is the world’s leading developer of rotorcraft aerial firefighting systems with over 30 models operating around the world today. Within the past four years, Simplex has developed five new helicopter […]

China’s AG600 amphibious water-bomber stays in the static display

The AG600 Kunlong amphibious aircraft built by AVIC did not fly at the recent Zhuhai show, but at least it was parked in the static display.  The huge turboprop made its first flight on December 24, 2017 from Zhuhai where it was built and carried out its first water landing on October 20, 2018 at […]