August 29, 2008
Helio Aircraft, LLC is very close to announcing the launch of the spare parts program. Helio will have BRAND NEW FAA-PMA parts for the H295 and HT 295. Check the website for more details on the program.
August 22, 2008
Pima County flies its second turbine Courier. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Tucson, AZ has had such tremendous success with their first Helio Courier, they have acquired a second Helio Courier and modified it for their law enforcement missions. The new Courier will be placed into service very soon.
June 16, 2008
A new engine and propeller combination has been identified for the Helio Stallion. Working with Pratt & Whitney and Hartzell Propeller, Helio Aircraft has selected a powerplant combination that will dramatically increase static thrust and take-off performance while providing gains in cruise and a reduction in flyover noise. Flight testing to begin in December, 08.
April 24, 2008
Work on the New TurboCourier is underway at Helio Aircraft’s facility in Prescott, AZ. Some of the modifications include hardpoints under the wings, tricycle landing gear and installation of the venerable Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine. This aircraft will be used to demonstrate the incredible capabilities and operating efficiencies of the TurboCourier to law enforcement agencies and customers with a need for a versatile aircraft capable of very specialized missions.
April 19, 2007
Helio Aircraft, LLC flies its first complete restoration of an HT-295. This aircraft is equipped with Chelton Synthetic Vision, JPI EDM 930 Engine Data Management System, Custom Interior, and much more. The project was undertaken to explore the modernization of the Helio Courier and many of the refinements will find their way into new production aircraft.
October 29, 2004
Helio Aircraft, LLC has completed the purchase of a Helio Courier H-700 and a Helio Stallion HST-550A each to be used as prototype aircraft for new production Helios.
The purchase of the Helio Stallion was a reuniting with the aircraft for David Maytag, Jr., Vice President Research & Development and Jon W. Dwight, President, as they owned and operated the aircraft during the mid-1990’s. Maytag and Dwight finished a complete restoration of the aircraft in 1993 and sold it in 1996 after putting over 1,000 hours on the airplane. The Company will be using the airplane for installation of an all new interior, new glass instrument panel and eventually new tricycle landing gear.
The Helio Courier that was added to Helio Aircraft’s stable of airplanes is an H-700 with less than 700 hours on the airframe and engine. This Helio Courier is in beautiful shape and will serve as an excellent platform for the improvements to the aircraft. The R&D team, led by Maytag, understands the shortcomings of the H-700/H-800 models and will be addressing each of those including a new firewall forward engine package and reverting to the H-295 style conventional landing gear system. Several 300 to 400 horsepower geared engines in both avgas and diesel burning configurations are being evaluated. An all new interior, glass instrument panel and all new tricycle landing gear will be among the upgrades to the prototype. The Helio Courier is already at the paint shop being stripped.
The company also owns a Helio Courier H-800 that is currently flying with a 400 horsepower Russian M-14 radial engine. This engine is being tested for potential use in Helios that are sold into the regions of Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union (CIS) and China where this engine is readily accepted.
According to Maytag, “Helio Aircraft, LLC is committed to the development of these magnificent aircraft and these airplanes give us the foundation on which to build the next generation of the ultimate STOL performance aircraft. With top of the line attention to detail and the latest technology in systems and equipment, Helio aircraft will continue to be the benchmark against which all others will be compared. We look forward to exhibiting these aircraft at the major air shows and fly ins next year.”
October 23, 2004
Sgt. Rick Pearson of the Pima County Sheriff’s department in Tucson, Arizona brought his department’s latest crime fighting weapon to Helio Aircraft, LLC’s headquarters this week for flight testing and evaluation.
What is this secret weapon? A Helio Courier. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department selected the Helio Courier because they recognized the substantial savings in startup and operating costs versus a helicopter, as well as the performance advantages in loitering, slow flight and minimal noise signature. The aircraft features a FLIR camera mounted on the wing and a Midnight Sun light on the belly that is so named because it appears to bring the sun up at midnight when lighting a crime scene from the air.
Pima County bought its Helio Courier in 1999, and in two and a half years, they put over 2,800 hours on the aircraft by flying five nights per week at an average of 5.5 hours per night. The Department estimates an hourly operating cost at $100 per hour with a dispatch rate of over 95%. The aircraft is typically grounded only for routine maintenance.
When the aircraft was ready for its second engine overhaul, the department decided that they wanted to boost the performance and install a Rolls Royce (Allison) B-17C turboprop engine in place of its previous piston engine. This will provide them with additional performance given their typical operations at gross weight in over 100 degree temperatures at slow speeds.
“Without a doubt, this aircraft has exceeded our needs. If the occasion arises for another aircraft, I would not hesitate recommending the purchase of another Helio Courier,” said Sgt. Rick Pearson. His assessment is that the Helio can do nearly everything a helicopter can do (except land directly at a crime scene which is rarely done even in helicopters) at a fraction of the cost and with a much safer platform.
August 5, 2004
The re-introduction of new production Helio Courier and Helio Stallion aircraft took a major step forward today with an investment into Helio Aircraft, LLC (formerly Alliance Aircraft Group, LLC). Jon W. Dwight, President and Director, and David D. Maytag, Jr., Vice President Research & Development and Director welcome the company’s new partner, James Turrell of Flagstaff, Arizona. Dwight and Maytag have been the managing members of the company and the predecessor entity which owns the Helio assets including the FAA type certificates for the Helio Courier, Helio Stallion and Helio Twin Courier and all related manufacturing tooling and jigs and engineering documentation.
Helios have been a part of Turrell’s life since the early 1960’s when he flew them in Asia. He also sold Helio Couriers in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. He currently owns an H-295 which recently went through a ground up restoration completed by Maytag. Turrell has owned this Helio Courier since 1975 and flies it into and out of his ranch outside of Flagstaff.
Turrell’s investment in Helio Aircraft, predicated on his vision of new production Helios and their incredible capabilities, allows the company to officially launch its prototype programs for both the Helio Courier and Helio Stallion and to expand the corporate operations related to the reintroduction. Turrell is an internationally known light artist and Helio airplanes have been an important part of his art.