Grand Central Airport Survey
There is an air of excitement that lingers at Grand Central Airport. It is hard to put your finger on it but after a while you realise what it is. “Things” are happening at the airport. People are going places and there is no knowing what could happen next. You could round the corner and bump into a celebrity who is jetting off to Sun City for a performance or rub shoulders with one of South Africa’s most eligible bachelor or bachelorettes or top executives boarding a flight for a golfing weekend or you could find yourself having coffee at the Harvard Cafe next to a student pilot who might be piloting your future flights to Cape Town or Dubai. There is no immediate way of knowing when the next flight will be arriving or departing because there are no scheduled commercial flights. This lends the airport an aura of exclusivity. Most of the passengers moving through the airport are private pilots or charter flight passengers flying to their own agendas.
The Magnificent Bell 222
The Bell 222UT (UT designates ‘Utility’ version) is the last marque of the famous 222 lineage. Its design was conceived from US air ambulance operators’ requirement to have a ‘vanilla’ helicopter that was capable of carrying more fuel and was less complex than the earlier IFR equipped 222B. The fact that it also possessed skid gear rather than retracting undercarriage gave it more of a helicopter-like feel. The sexy, flowing lines were retained and the machine served numerous air ambulance operators around the world.
Helicopter Sales and Operators in Southern Africa
The word 'helicopter' is adapted from the French hélicoptère, coined by Gustave de Ponton d'Amecourt in 1861, which originates from the Greek helix/helik- ‘twisted or curved’ and pteron ‘wing.’ Helicopters were developed and built during the first half-century of flight, with the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 being the first operational helicopter in 1936. Some helicopters reached limited production, but it was not until 1942 that a helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky reached full-scale production, with 131 aircraft built. Although earlier designs used more than one main rotor, it was the single main rotor with antitorque tail rotor configuration of this design that would come to be recognised worldwide as the helicopter.