Each year the Hiller Aviation Museum organizes a helicopter show at San Carlos Airport, and today I went to Vertical Challenge 2006 with Lisette and her sister Linda who is visiting.
This was my first helicopter show, and I must say that it was quite fun. Hiller is a name synonymous with helicopter innovation, so it is no surprise that an aviation museum founded by Stanley Hiller has an impressive collection and an ability to attract a diverse set of presenters.
At the show were some copters from Hiller’s past: there were various models of the elegant Hiller 360, and in rare treat, there was a short test flight of the only restored Hiller Hornet. The Hornet was conceived in the early 1950’s and its rotor is powered by ramjet engines at each tip.
Also at the show were military helicopters that flew in for display. Sikorski was well represented with a Navy Seahawk, an Army Blackhawk, and two large Marine CH-53’s Sea Stallions. Boeing was in the house with several vintage tandem rotor designs alongside the contemporary Chinook. There was a Navy Sea King, and, of course, there were Bell Hueys and 47s. As a nice surprise, there were 2 Bell AH-1W Super Cobras.
However, what would an air show be without aerial exhibitions, and there were several of those. The California Forestry Department demonstrated how they use their Bell UH-1H Super Hueys to load and drop men and water. The California Highway Patrol demonstrated a rescue with one of their Bell 206Ls. And, before we arrived, the Coast Guard showed how they perform search and rescue with their HH-65 Dolphin.
View all of my pictures from Vertical Challenge 2006