Choppers Overhead

Helicopters will rain down on Dallas skyline with convention in town

Helicopters will rain down on Dallas skyline with convention in town

Downtown Dallas will get an impromptu air show this weekend. Photo courtesy of Frontiers of Flight Museum

Dallas will be swarmed by approximately 60 helicopters when a helicopter convention swoops in on Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center the first week of March.

The convention is the Heli-Expo, hosted by Helicopter Association International, and it will take place from March 6-9, but the helicopters will arrive en masse on March 3-4. Many helicopters will be swirling around downtown Dallas.

The event is open to the public, but paid registration is required. One of the largest commercial helicopters in North America is expected to participate, as well as a variety of new and vintage models.

Approximately 20,000 industry professionals, students, and helicopter enthusiasts will attend this event. Texas-based companies Bell Helicopter and Airbus produce many of the helicopters appearing at the show.

Texas is home to a large number of other helicopter and aviation-related businesses and schools. Many of these businesses and their employees are expected to attend the show.

There'll be a big media event on Friday, March 3, at the aircraft landing area, on the south side of the convention center. Helicopters will begin arriving at 10:30 am, through 5:15 pm.

At 2 pm, Matt Zuccaro, president and CEO of Helicopter Association International, will speak about the helicopter industry as a whole, and do a play-by-play on the helicopters that are arriving.

Peak times for downtown Dallas skywatching are at 4:30 pm, with the arrival of a Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunship, and 5 pm, the landing time for a Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopter. That'll be the last aircraft in for the day.

The Hind gunship is an impressive-looking helicopter made in the former Soviet Union. It joins the show as a display model in the Heritage Aircraft section.

The CH-47D Chinook helicopter is one of the largest commercially available helicopters in North America. This model is owned and operated by Columbia Helicopters of Portland, Oregon.