Dylan Phelps sent us these photos that he captured at various Northern California airports in the first part of September as our firefighters were going up against one of the most vicious wildfire seasons on record.
Today I found time to go through some of photos from the Helicopter Association International HELI-EXPO in Anaheim, California. Today, January 30, is the last day of the event that started on January 28. Most of the 60+ helicopters that are exhibited staged at the Fullerton Airport 6 miles northwest of the Anaheim Convention Center before flying to a parking lot just west of the Center.
At times there were dozens of helicopters parked at Fullerton waiting for their scheduled departure, occurring at 15-minute intervals. The convention center is across the street from Disneyland and the airspace is usually restricted over the Anaheim Resort District.
Many of the helicopters had to have their rotors removed before they were towed through one of four exhibit hall doors. The largest door is about 40 feet wide by 25 feet high. The pilots were told to arrive with “minimum fuel”, enough to return to Fullerton while abiding by FAA regulations. Towed-in aircraft had to be purged of fuel.
The 60+ helicopters will depart from HELI-EXPO Thursday, January 30, beginning at 4:00 pm following the conclusion of the show, and Friday, January 31 beginning at 7:00 am. Anyone wanting to observe may be able to get a view of the activity through a fence on S. West Street on the west side of the convention center.
The photos below were provided by HAI.
(Above: CAL FIRE’s Firehawk helicopter 903 at Centennial Airport southeast of Denver on the weekend of October 5, 2019, shortly before it was delivered to CAL FIRE in Sacramento. Photo by Kevin Falkenstine.)
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection showed off one of its new Firehawk helicopters Saturday, October 12 at Sacramento McClellan Airport. CAL FIRE has received approval to purchase up to 12 new Sikorsky S-70i helicopters retrofitted by United Rotorcraft as a wildland firefighting aircraft. The Firehawks will replace its aging fleet of 12 Super Huey helicopters.
Helicopter 903, with “McClellan” painted on the side, will be able to carry up to 1,000 gallons of water in an external belly tank. Other features include a 9,000 pound capacity cargo hook, 360-gallon fuel cell, night vision compatible lighting, rescue hoist, augmented reality mapping system, and retractible drafting hose. It can cruise fully loaded at 130 knots (150 mph), or 150 knots (173 mph) unloaded.
Each of CAL FIRE’s new Firehawks costs about $24 million which includes pilot training and a two-year warranty.
The three photos seen here that were taken out of doors are by Kevin Falkenstine. He spotted the aircraft on the weekend of October 5 flying near the compass rose at Centennial Airport, which is where United Rotorcraft is located southeast of Denver.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Jack. Typos or errors, report them HERE.