Saturday, June 17, 2006


left: Bell 47, center: Hiller 360, right: Hiller 360Each 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.

left: Navy Cobra, center: Coast Guard Dolphin, right: Marine CH-53Also 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
left: Hiller Hornet, center: CHP Bell 206L, right: CFD Bell Super Huey


At 7:29 AM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

It is a great event. We missed it this year. But in the past years we always have a lot of fun taking my 6 years old.


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