ARCHIVED - NRC Helicopter Stars at Turbo Expo 2007

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June 07, 2007— Ottawa, Ontario

In the early morning of Saturday May 12, a Bell 412 helicopter touched down on St. Urbain Street in Montréal, near the Palais des congrès exposition hall. "We landed at 6 a.m., removed two rotors, drained our fuel and were towed inside in about 20 minutes," says Robert Erdos, a pilot at the NRC Institute for Aerospace Research (NRC Aerospace).

Owned and operated by NRC, the helicopter was a main attraction at Turbo Expo 2007, which drew thousands of gas turbine professionals from over 50 countries, offering them a unique opportunity to view the latest and best gas turbine technology.

NRC's Bell 412 research helicopter lands beside exposition hall.
NRC's Bell 412 research helicopter lands beside exposition hall.

"This event was NRC's first chance to showcase our technology and services to the international gas turbine audience so close to home," says Jeff Mackwood, NRC Aerospace's marketing manager. The Turbo Expo alternates every year between North America and Europe. But except for a 1989 stop in Toronto, the North American venues have almost exclusively been held in the U.S.

Besides helping to lure the 2007 Turbo Expo to Montréal, Mackwood persuaded the organizers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers/International Gas Turbine Institute, to donate valuable floor space to NRC. Worth tens of thousands of dollars, the space prominently displayed the NRC helicopter with its two gas turbine engines. The unique research helicopter features an experimental fly-by-wire control system that allows it to function as an airborne simulator.

"Our helicopter was the most visible part of the trade show," says Mackwood. "Not surprisingly, NRC was voted the People's Choice Award for the best booth, which drew swarms of people. We also had a highly visible role in the technical sessions – in terms of papers, session chairs, track chairs and committee chairpersons – with about two dozen staff members sharing aerospace expertise during different sessions."

NRC helicopter on trade show floor, with Bill Gubbels (sitting) and Carl Jones.
NRC helicopter on trade show floor, with Bill Gubbels (sitting) and Carl Jones.

Such visibility is important for attracting new clients, collaborators and licensees for NRC Aerospace technology and services. "We do everything from testing full-scale gas turbine engines to developing coatings for the blades on those engines," he says. "Practically anything to do with gas turbine engines, we can do."

NRC will get another chance to showcase its aerospace technology as part of the Canadian Pavilion at the International Paris Air Show, which runs from June 18-24, 2007, at Le Bourget Air Field. More than 200,000 visitors are expected to attend the event, including about 5,000 members of the aerospace trade press. According to Mackwood, "being part of the Canadian Pavilion will give us the best opportunity to network with other Canadians. There is no similar event in Canada that draws literally hundreds of potential Canadian clients and collaborators."


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National Research Council of Canada
613-991-1431
media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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