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Msg ID: 2427013 My HAI +38/-0     
Author:man in a hat
3/11/2017 9:32:00 AM

On Day One, everyone poured into the show with great excitement and anticipation about the prospects for 2017. The number and quality of attendees were rated as extremely good and everyone was upbeat about the show and the future. Everyone that had attended Louisville bitched about it, everyone that didn't go was extremely happy that they hadn't gone. There were more surplus Blackhawks on display than Robinsons, this was a first. 

Sikorsky had a huge area with very little in it. A Korean Coastguard S92 and a lot of Koreans furiously writing notes, while a huge range of cloned salesmen in matching suits seemed to mill around with nothing much to do, apart from anticipating the arrival of customers clutching bulging checkbooks to place massive orders, which just didn't happen. Oh, and there was a beautiful and elusive S76D there as well which got people really excited. NOT. Sikorsky did play loud and exciting electronic tech music, which felt a little incongruous with the conservative business model of the gray people there.  

Airbus had and ENORMOUS space. It was brightly lit and had a bunch of helicopters in it, although they all looked the same and each had little seating areas next to it, very much like an automobile showroom. They had millions of unidentifiable personnel on duty. They all looked glamorous, fashionable and spoke with such cool accents. An Astar, now called an H125, with a huge sign on the side stating it was "Made in America"; a rather cynical gentleman near to me laughed and said it should read "Assembled in America" as it apparently arrives in a knock down form from the Motherland and is simply finally assembled in Dallas. It is hard to determine whether that little marketing effort was a salute to President Trump, or European paranoia? The overall stage for this enormous display was tempered by the choice of music, which apparently was from the Funeral Home Greatest Hits Vol 396. I felt very downbeat when I left.

Over at Bell, they had all sorts of things going on. For what seemed the twentieth show in a row, I witnessed some kind of delivery of a new and strange looking, new-fangled, foreign registered Fakeranger, by a man with a cute accent; I actually thought I was back at the Airbus side. No-one seemed to be rushing to the 525, as it wasn't actually available yet and the show was already full of existing types that no-one could sell. But then, Bell had an amazing movie prop apparently made by a high school shop team. I'm not sure exactly what it was supposed to be, but I have a feeling that it might match the success of the 222, 430 or 427.

One of the highlights had to be MD Helicopters, although I couldn't get close because of the enormous crowd. With a mix of old worn out products revamped into a contemporary fantasy, it has to be one of the highlights. A new concept of the MD 600, not a particularly successful product at the best of times, was unveiled by some kind of sex robot that tottered out from the back shop. Now, this technology was really impressive and may be the way forward for MD, because their other business doesn't seem to be. Later they demonstrated the robot walking around the show floor attracting great attention and admiring looks. Once they figure out the aesthetics, this could be a huge success.  

After a couple of nights of hearty drunkenness and hearing what everyone was actually up to, the reality set in. 2017 was going to suck! Nothing new had happened and nothing was going to change. Enormous numbers of used helicopters are for sale and new helicopter production was being slashed. Leasing companies were trying to push the positives of their inventory moving, while the volume of surplus equipment they have is simply astonishing. Numerous companies were either for sale, being taken over, in bankruptcy, or potentially looking at it as a way to dump huge debt and parked helicopters. Cheap money is disappearing and the only way to sell in that market is to adjust the economics to make the price work, ie: discounting the price of new and used helicopters as well as services. A few service providers did actually have some very exciting new products available and were selling them, as well as a couple of upstart operators announced some pretty exciting news. If you want to feel the overall sentiment, just read the Press Releases that came out on the second and third days. These apparently were written by the staff on-site and did not involve the marketing teams and qualify as some of the worst written and boring releases of all time were pumped out by whatever semi-literate personnel where on-site, at the behest of bloated, hungover, panicking senior executives, in poor fitting, cheap suits. As normal, there is a mass of rebranded companies and it's extremely difficult to determine who anyone is unless you see someone you know, and then you assume they must have changed jobs, only to find they are actually working for the same company just under a different name. There are some really big companies that suffer from this problem.

So the future seems to be real time HUMS and Internet, Drones, and sex robots. For most people in the helicopter industry, it will just mean business as usual. And remember, never speak when you are standing next to an LG TV at the show!

Next year, it's Vegas. Louisville is apparently off the list forever.

Stay safe.

Msg ID: 2427040 My HAI +0/-1     
3/11/2017 11:29:41 AM

Reply to: 2427013

Anything from Agusta, Leonardo (whoever they are now) of interest?

Msg ID: 2427062 My HAI +1/-0     
3/11/2017 12:38:29 PM

Reply to: 2427040

Msg ID: 2427047 That was great +3/-0     
Author:JA reader
3/11/2017 12:04:00 PM

Reply to: 2427013

I thought the summary below was funny, but this is better! thanks

Msg ID: 2427048 Izzat you, Klank? (NT) +0/-0     
Author:Idiot from the Woodwork
3/11/2017 12:04:26 PM

Reply to: 2427013

Msg ID: 2427081 Izzat you, Klank? +7/-0     
Author:man in a hat
3/11/2017 3:02:44 PM

Reply to: 2427048

No, I'm not Klank, just some man in a hat.

I didn't mean to miss out Leonardo. This has to be the stupidest and most pretentious rebrand of all time and is a lot like their space at the show and the people in it. Beautifully attired and exotic looking, they look at everyone with the same disdain as that other Euro bunch. They are actually selling some good products, which despite their product support, people are quite happy to purchase. I can't actually remember what helicopters they had there other than some new improved version of the 109 (like every show, every year) or what kind of music they were playing. Perhaps free wine would have helped the situation?

Msg ID: 2427263 Izzat you, Klank? +1/-0     
Author:The Subject line should read:
3/12/2017 4:37:11 PM

Reply to: 2427048

"Klank Goes to HAI" 

Msg ID: 2427079 Rebel AStar +0/-0     
3/11/2017 2:50:14 PM

Reply to: 2427013

The Columbus plant is making H125 helicopters.

Msg ID: 2427286 Sliderule +0/-1     
3/12/2017 8:42:48 PM

Reply to: 2427013

 Thank you for your words of wisdom Sliderule. 

Msg ID: 2427305 Sliderule +3/-1     
3/13/2017 12:01:58 AM

Reply to: 2427286
You referring to the wise and learned slydrool of airevac fame? The champion of the mighty b206 and the Walmarting of hems?

Msg ID: 2427372 Sliderule +1/-1     
3/13/2017 2:50:36 PM

Reply to: 2427305

Thank would be him.  The Mighty-est of them all.  The Know-est of all.   There is no smarter.  There is no greater helicopter god than him.   He will even tell you that.    Vandy at one time was a great place.   Big EMS twins, IFR, a program where people wanted to work.    Not they have made it to the bottom.  Single engine VFR only aircraft and SlideRule leading the way.   

But lets not pick on Vandy,  there are many places like them going in the same direction.  Vandy just sticks out more than the rest.     

Nothing more, nothing less.   Funny everyone in the country says the same about them.  

Msg ID: 2427452 My HAI +0/-1     
3/13/2017 10:34:38 PM

Reply to: 2427013

Every year I look forward to your recap.... sometimes they're brutally spot on.

Msg ID: 2427464 There's a wasted 10 minutes of my life +0/-4     
Author:that I'll never get back.
3/13/2017 11:58:29 PM

Reply to: 2427013

Can't believe it is getting so many thumbs up. Rigged, I guess.

Msg ID: 2427468 There's a wasted 10 minutes of my life +2/-0     
Author:Compre Hension
3/14/2017 1:30:22 AM

Reply to: 2427464

It took you 10 minutes to read that?

You need to meet Evelyn Wood.

Msg ID: 2427541 There's a wasted 10 minutes of my life +0/-0     
Author:Kept searching for what
3/14/2017 12:27:24 PM

Reply to: 2427468

the thumbs up (butt) folks thought was entertaining.

Msg ID: 2427512 There's a wasted 10 minutes of my life +0/-0     
Author:Your HAI
3/14/2017 10:18:41 AM

Reply to: 2427464

Maybe you could take a few seconds and share your take away from there? As for the rigged thumbs up - must be a Hillary supporter?

Msg ID: 2427625 My HAI +0/-0     
Author:man in the boat
3/14/2017 4:37:58 PM

Reply to: 2427013

Clit Eastwood

Msg ID: 2427875 My HAI +2/-0     
3/15/2017 5:29:20 PM

Reply to: 2427013

Great comments.  Photos here Heli-Expo 2017 Photo Report

Msg ID: 2427910 My HAI +0/-0     
Author:man in a hat
3/15/2017 11:01:06 PM

Reply to: 2427875

Thanks for posting that great report and photos. Sometimes after HAI. I wonder if it was all a dream, but no, it was just like I remembered it.

Msg ID: 2427928 My HAI (NT) +1/-1     
Author:Finger down throat.
3/16/2017 1:23:23 AM

Reply to: 2427013