At this year’s inaugural Vertical Flight Expo & Conference (VFE), the display of established and emerging services will put the event on an unrivalled pedestal for demonstrating aviation excellence. From providing solutions to existing industry issues to cementing the work of VTOL aircraft used in mission critical scenarios, exhibitors will demonstrate the versatility of helicopters, drones and other autonomous vehicles and the emerging role of the industry at the forefront of innovation and exploration.
From 5-7 November at Farnborough International, VFE will welcome over 70 exhibitors from every corner of the industry to demonstrate the evolution of the sector beyond traditional rotorcraft to the future of vertical flight. Attendees can learn more about the rising use of autonomous flight-capable systems, unique solutions for operators spanning the oil and gas and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) sectors, and how the latest developments in vertical flight are aiding agriculture and photography missions.
Oil and gas
While the oil and gas industry may not be immediately associated with aviation, a recent report revealed that the helicopter is the “workhorse” of the industry. Whether its to relieve a crew, deliver essential equipment or evacuate workers ahead of bad weather, its critical role of transporting crew and equipment to and from offshore platforms is prolific. However, over the last decade, the oil and gas sector has experienced a period of turbulence, with oil prices collapsing and many companies within the sector reducing exploration and development activity to cut costs – leading to reduced numbers of offshore workers and helidecks required in service.
However, with the current global expansion in offshore activity, the tide is starting to change. Helping operators understand the latest challenges and opportunities facing the industry, Joe Leask, Decommissioning Manager, Oil & Gas UK will give attendees a market outlook in the Vertical Flight Expo conference programme. He will be joined by Steve Robertson, Director, Westwood Global Energy Group as he shares evidence that reveals a positive future for the offshore market.
On the show floor, exhibitions, such as Dart Aerospace will demonstrate offshore uses of its Emergency Flotation Systems (EFS) helping to increase the safety of offshore helicopter flights. These inflatable rafts, which attach to a helicopter’s landing gear, offer an increased safety measure and enhance the capabilities of helicopters in this particular sector.
In 2019 alone, over 2,500 missions have so far been completed by air ambulance services, totalling over 415 hours in UK airspace. The frequency at which helicopter emergency services are relied upon in Britain alone serves as a marker of the importance placed on their capabilities, which this year’s VFE will highlight.
Displaying a wide range of equipment for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), exhibitors such as LD Switzerland, Axnes AS and Northwall Srl will display a range of solutions from protective helmets and accessories to wireless intercom solutions.
Becky Steele, General Manager of Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) – an official partner for the 2019 exhibition, said: “We are proud to partner with Vertical Flight Expo & Conference for 2019. The use of helicopters in the emergency services sector is of paramount importance, and Vertical Flight Expo gives the Association of Air Ambulances the perfect platform to demonstrate this, connect with industry peers and stay abreast of the ever-changing industry. We’re very much looking forward to the show in Farnborough this November, meeting masses of industry professionals and people who are making great strides forward for the future of our industry.”
Current reports reveal that there were more than 76,000 drones in UK skies in 2018 alone, with the industry projected to contribute a £42bn uplift in GDP by 2030. Demonstrating the evolution of vertical flight and the emergence of new technologies, this year’s Vertical Flight Expo will welcome drone specialists to share insights on how UA technology can assist traditional operations.
Joining the line-up at this year’s show, drone specialist Malloy Aeronautics will showcase its capabilities in unmanned flight with its T-80 and T-150 payload-carrying vehicles. While Thales, a leader in the fast-growing market of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), will demonstrate how its 40 years of experience in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance innovation is helping build its UA systems and services.
While UA use has expanded to support a wide range of operations from commercial, scientific, agricultural and surveillance missions, as well as product deliveries and aerial photography, the reach of the VTOL industry is only expanding.
Providing expert guidance on this new corner of the industry, VFE has announced it will partner with Drone Major, the world’s first global commercial organisation dedicated to connecting, supporting and trading with all stakeholders in the drone industry.
Speaking about the partnership, Robert Garbett – Chief Executive – Drone Major Group, said: “I’ve always wanted to work with an organisation that could see the need to develop the next generation of vertical flight events, and so I’m very excited about working with VFE on this concept because it really is tapping into the future of this industry.
“What makes Vertical Flight Expo 2019 so exciting is that we will see cutting-edge VTOL technology which is going to change people’s lives in the future. To me, that is far more exciting than what is available in the right industry now. People come to events like Vertical Flight Expo to find out what’s going to happen in the future – it showcases tomorrow’s world.”
For more information or to register to attend, visit http://www.verticalflightexpo.com/register