Airbus Helicopters NEWS

Airbus Helicopters NEWS, images, Press Release

Milan, 12 July 2019 – Acquisition of Aersud Elicotteri, longtime distributor of Airbus Helicopters in Italy, will help strengthen the company’s local footprint.

Airbus Helicopters has strengthened its footprint in Italy with the acquisition of its distributor and 50-year partner Aersud Elicotteri.

Headquartered in the North of Italy, near the city of Verona, Aersud has played a key role in the development of the country’s helicopter market. It has successfully increased Airbus Helicopters’ market share in Italy, particularly in mission segments such as aerial work, business aviation and emergency medical services, thanks to the Airbus single-engine H125 and twin-engine H145 helicopters that are particularly suited to the country’s mountainous conditions.

The company will now fully integrate Airbus Helicopters’ global network of customer centers.

“With over 250 helicopters in service and more than 90 operators in the country, Italy is an important market for Airbus Helicopters, and we are here to stay” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “I would like to thank Aersud Elicotteri which has played a key role in increasing the fleet of Airbus helicopters in Italy over the last 50 years. We are fully committed to providing our local customers with the best-in-class service and support they expect, and to do so while building on the very successful relationship that Aersud Elicotteri has developed with them over the years. I would also like to warmly welcome all of our new colleagues to the Airbus team”.

“Aersud Elicotteri has been an extraordinary adventure on a personal and professional level for two generations of my family and I am very proud of our contribution to the Italian aerospace industry”, said Riccardo Aichner, President of Aersud Elicotteri. “Throughout the years, the people at Aersud Elicotteri have been led by their passion for aviation, putting their expertise and dedication at the service of our customers. I am sure that these same principles will guide the new period we are now starting, under the name of Airbus”.

Beijing China’s State Grid General Aviation Company (SGGAC) has taken delivery of one heavy twin-engine Airbus H215 helicopter – a member of the mission-proven Super Puma family – becoming the launch customer for the H215 in China.

A subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the world’s largest utility company, SGGAC performs aerial construction and maintenance work along China’s network of high and very-high voltage power lines. 

The H215 will join the company’s existing fleet of 15 Airbus helicopters, comprised of H125s, an H120 and an H225. This addition will enable SGGAC to perform new missions such as cable repair, cable laying, cargo transportation, and power line pylons constructions in difficult-to-reach areas.

The helicopter comes equipped with a 4.5-ton cargo sling, hoists, weather radar, and a wire-strike protection system. The configuration features 17 comfortable seats equipped with oxygen jackets for high altitude missions.

“Our cooperation with Airbus Helicopters since 2012 has been a true success. Thanks to the H215’s outstanding performance in high and hot conditions coupled with strong support and services from Airbus Helicopters, we are confident that we will continue to develop our capabilities performing new utility missions,” said Wu Jielong, Chairman of SGGAC.

“It’s an honour to see SGGAC becoming the first operator of the H215 in China”, said Marie-Agnes Veve, General Manager of Airbus Helicopters China. “This achievement reinforces the long-term and strategic cooperation we have developed with the company, which also became a certified Airbus Helicopters’ maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre in China in 2018.”

The H215 combines advanced avionics and a reliable platform for rugged multi-mission capabilities in the world’s harshest environments. Its baseline configuration offers extremely competitive direct operating and maintenance costs. Standard features include proven Makila 1A1 engines, the latest generation flight management system, and the most modern technologies, which includes a glass cockpit avionics system and the renowned 4-axis autopilot from Airbus Helicopters’ advanced H225.

The introduction of this H215 increases China’s Super Puma fleet to nearly 40 aircraft, performing a wide range of missions from oil & gas to aerial work to VIP transportation. The fleet is supported by Airbus Helicopters’ China technical team, its approved helicopter MRO centre in Shenzhen, and an H225 full flight simulator located in Beijing.

Reykjavik, 01 April 2019 – Airbus Helicopters is supporting the Icelandic Coast Guard (ICG) with the entry into service of two Airbus H225 heavy search and rescue (SAR) helicopters as the first step in a renewal of the agency’s helicopter fleet.

The aircraft are replacing two of the ICG’s three existing Airbus AS332L1 Super Pumas, the first of which entered service in 1995. They are being leased from Norwegian helicopter lessor Knut Axel Ugland Holding AS and will both be in service by the end of April 2019. The ICG plans to purchase permanent replacements for all three aircraft in its fleet by 2022.

Airbus Helicopters is providing pilot and technician training on key features of the H225 and ongoing maintenance and support under an HCare Smart Parts By the Hour contract.

The 11-tonne category, twin-engine H225 is the latest member of Airbus Helicopters’ Super Puma family with more powerful engines providing a smoother ride and enhanced performance compared to the AS332L1.

Equipped with state-of-the-art electronic instruments and a 4-axis autopilot system, the H225 offers outstanding endurance and fast cruise speed, and can be fitted with a wide range of SAR equipment. Operated by two pilots, it can be configured with up to 18 seats or six stretchers.

The H225 and military H225M are benchmarks in SAR and combat SAR and are operated by 20 nations worldwide.

Commander S.G. Sindri Steingrimsson, Director Flight Operations at the ICG said: “The experience with our current fleet of Super Pumas has been excellent through the years. Overall they have done a fantastic job for us here at the Icelandic Coast Guard, in some of the most challenging conditions for aircraft SAR operations in the world. We fully expect that the new Super Pumas will add great value to the safety and security of our operations, increasing capability and reliability while at the same time modernising our technological standards to meet current needs.”

Atlanta, 05 March 2019 – Babcock Australasia, the aerospace and defence company, is celebrating its first year of Airbus H175 helicopter operations in Timor Leste after clocking up nearly 1400 flights providing offshore aviation services for their oil and gas customer.

The company, which operates two H175s on personnel transport, search and rescue, and medevac duties in the Timor Sea reports a 98% aircraft availability rate for the 12 months following entry into service in January last year.

Airbus worked with Babcock to train 27 pilots and engineers on the H175 prior to delivery and Babcock has since employed 19 Timorese support staff at the Dili base, including four local engineers who are training at Airbus Helicopters’ Marignane, France headquarters.

During 2018 Babcock’s Timor operation recorded 1,274 flight hours in 1,365 sectors and the company received highly positive feedback from passengers praising the H175’s comfort levels. The aircraft are operated in support of ConocoPhillips offshore operations in the region.

The H175 provides a smooth ride with lower cabin noise, large windows for increased visibility and enhanced emergency egress, comfortable seating, and cabin climate controls.

Already in service in the North Sea, Western Africa and Gulf of Mexico as well as Timor Leste, the H175 was specifically designed to be exceptionally safe and competitive in the oil and gas, and search and rescue sectors, with extremely powerful engines, up to 270 nautical miles radius of operation and the latest technology in avionics and automation.

Andrew Cridland, Managing Director Aviation Offshore for Babcock Australasia, said: “As the aviation company who introduced the H175 aircraft to the Southern Hemisphere, we are extremely pleased with the H175’s performance in this first year of operation. Our exceptional reliability statistics are a testament to the excellent work performed by our highly skilled engineers and the commitment by Airbus to deliver the necessary parts in a timely manner to Timor-Leste. The aircraft have been well received by our customer and the passengers we transport. As a super medium aircraft, the H175 has good economics and is clearly setting new standards in the offshore business.”

ConocPhillips Manager, Global Aviation Safety Assurance, James Adams said: “We have been very pleased with the performance, economics and reliability of the H175. The success of our Timor operation has been a combined effort of Babcock Offshore Services and the excellent collaboration from the Airbus Oil & Gas support team.”

A total of 33 H175s are in service worldwide, having recorded 43,000 flight hours.

A look back at the maiden flight of the high-altitude helicopter that broke barriers.

The Alouette III SA3160, flown by Jean Boulet and Robert Malus, completed its maiden flight in Bourget on 28 February 1959.

Marignane, 28 February 2019 – Airbus Helicopters NEWS ARTICLE.

This 3rdgeneration Alouette was characterised by its extended cabin capable of holding six passengers alongside the pilot and was equipped with sliding doors. Its main rotor was 11 metres in height, compared to 10.2 metres for the Alouette II and its payload was increased by 250 kg.  

A contender for high-altitude flights.

The Alouette III had notched up successes very quickly. On 12 June 1960, the first prototype landed on the summit of Mont Blanc with seven people on board, demonstrating its excellent performance at high altitudes. Some months later, on 6 November 1960, the 2nd prototype landed on the summit of the Deo Tibba mountain in the Himalayas at an altitude of more than 6,000 m during a demonstration in India. During a demonstration tour in Africa, the Alouette III landed on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, some 6,000 metres above sea level on 18 February 1973 and then on the summit of Mount Kenya, 5,500 m above sea level, a few days later. The helicopter quickly established itself as a helicopter capable of flying at very high altitudes.

A worldwide success story.

The first aircraft of this series was delivered to Burma on 25 July 1961. The Alouette III was the first helicopter for which the serial manufacturing process took place entirely in Marignane, France. More than 1,400 aircraft were manufactured for 120 customers in 80 countries, including South Africa, Portugal and the Netherlands. In turn, France ordered 180 aircraft for its armed forces and para-public services. The Alouette III was also manufactured under license in India, under the name ‘Chetak’, in Pakistan, Romania and in Switzerland, with a total of more than 600 prototypes.

The Alouette III fleet accumulated more than 7 million flight hours by the end of 2018. Today, nearly 180 aircraft still continue to be in service.


Innovative kit can now be installed by Airbus prior to helicopter delivery.

5 March 2019 – Airbus Helicopters and Swiss Rotor Service (SRS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in the promotion of the Maximum Pilot View Kit (MPVK) for the H125 and older variants of the AS350 single-engine helicopter (B2 & B3 versions). This will enable customers to have the MPVK installed directly by Airbus Helicopters on newly-built H125’s coming out of its final assembly line in Marignane (France) or out of its worldwide Customer Centers network.

Designed specifically for the H125, the MPVK consists of a large lower viewing aperture and transparent fuselage window fairing, which multiplies by ten the field of view of pilots during vertical work operations. Providing unrestricted pilot view below and to the right hand side of the aircraft, the kit improves the H125 mission capability and enhances the safety for pilots and ground crews in demanding operations such as sling loading, firefighting, confined area operations, search and rescue and emergency medical services, as well as any tasks requiring to operate near the ground and obstacles.

“We are striving to constantly improving the safety, performance and versatility of the H125 in order to better meet our customers’ expectations”, said Axel Aloccio, Head of the Light Helicopters Programme at Airbus Helicopters. “With the MPVK, which will be available this year in new helicopters but also on retrofit, the H125 will further increase its mission capability in important market segments and provide enhanced mission safety”.

Swiss Rotor Solutions AG was founded in 2013 with the purpose of offering services and products for the helicopter industry. The MPVK STC is already EASA, FAA, TCCA, ANAC Brazil and DGAC Mexico approved

“We are really happy to start this cooperation with Airbus Helicopters to further promote the use of the MPVK among H125 operators”, said Thomas Bolzli, CEO of SRS. “At present there are about 30 aircraft equipped with the kit but with a fleet of about 2000 H125/AS350 currently dedicated to work depending on high pilot vertical visibility, we are very optimistic for the future success of this kit”.

Atlanta, 6 March 2019 – CHC Helicopter’s newest H175 will become the first Airbus helicopter to be delivered with digital logcards. The announcement, made at HAI Heli-Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, makes Airbus Helicopters the first helicopter manufacturer on the market to transform paper-based logcards into easy-to-use digital data.

“A logcard is a document that tracks the entire history of critical helicopter parts, from manufacture all along their in-service lives. There are around 2.5 million logcards already in circulation throughout the world today, with some 80,000 new ones being produced each year,” said Matthieu Louvot, Executive Vice President of Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters. “Over time the paper logcard ages, gets misplaced, becomes hard to read and more difficult to use. Our new digital version stores the content in a secured cloud while preserving the existing template, using the same process and stakeholder roles and responsibilities as the paper version, meaning no additional workload.”

”The digital logcards allow us to take better care of ourselves and our customers,” said Sean Toth, Director of Global Maintenance and Engineering at CHC Helicopter, which took delivery of its fourth H175 in January and will convert its paper logcards to the electronic format in April. ”Thanks to them we can better ensure overall compliance, while our staff improves productivity as our logcards are updated in real time.” 

CHC currently operates H175s in the North Sea: one in Norwich, England and three in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The digital logcard is the latest demonstration of how Airbus is committed to developing fully digital solutions for its customers that make processes more efficient and that contribute to quality and safety. They are the result of a collaborative effort involving Airbus customers and repair centres, who were consulted during development and acted as early adopters, participating in a year-long pilot phase.

“The feedback we received from our pilot users indicates that digital logcards meets our objectives of delivering better data quality, smoother processes, time savings, reliability and data confidentiality,” said Stephanie Bonnefoy-Fourie, who leads Airbus Helicopters’ Connected Services business.

New functionalities not possible with paper logcards include the ability to attach documents, archive, search, and immediately transfer a selection of logcards. Future applications include the ability to synchronise data between the digital logcard system and customers’ Maintenance Information Systems (MIS), or to build new analytics around the collected data. 

Rolling out progressively worldwide from April 2019, all customers taking delivery of a new civil helicopter can opt to receive digital logcards at no additional cost. Customers with existing paper logcards can opt to convert theirs to the digital format. Digital logcards can also be tracked online via Airbus’ Keycopter customer portal.


Entire fleet of seven H145s will be upgraded to the new version.

Atlanta, 05 march 2019 – Swiss Air-Rescue Rega has taken the decision to retrofit its entire H145 fleet of seven helicopters to the new 5-bladed version, that was revealed yesterday at Heli-Expo, making them the launch customer for the retrofit of the new H145.

“We’re proud to be amongst the first customers to upgrade our H145 to the new version”, said Heinz Leibundgut, Chief Pilot and member of Rega’s Management Board. “Our patients will profit from the increased useful load. It is a great benefit for our air rescue operation, where every additional kilogram is crucial, especially in challenging environments like the Alps.”

“Airbus Helicopters is pleased that Rega has taken the decision to upgrade its entire H145 fleet to the new version” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “We thank Rega for their continued trust in our H145 family of helicopters.”

Rega is currently replacing its EC145 fleet with H145 helicopters. Six out of seven H145s have already been delivered, with the last one to follow in May this year. The helicopters of the H145 family are in service with the Rega for more than 15 years.

The new upgrade of the H145, revealed at Heli-Expo, embodies Airbus’ approach to value creation through innovation. It boasts several new features that will allow customers to enhance their operations: The innovative five-blade bearingless rotor increases the useful load by 150 kg, further enhancing the mission capabilities of the aircraft. This new rotor also improves crew and passenger comfort. Other advantages include a smaller D-value, allowing the H145 to operate in more confined areas, simplified maintenance, and an increased availability rate.

Atlanta, 6 March 2019 – Airbus has signed an order for an ACH160 with an undisclosed Canadian customer.  The customer, who has vast experience in corporate aviation, has opted for the aircraft to be delivered with a custom-made interior.

“We are proud to announce the sale of the first H160 in Canada where we have seen strong interest in this game-changing aircraft. The H160 has received considerable attention from private and business aviation, air medical services, and passenger transport operators,” said Romain Trapp, President of Airbus Helicopters Canada. “The H160’s breakthrough design, low sound levels, smooth flight at high speeds and the product maturity at entry into service, meet and often exceed the premium standards set by operators in high-demand markets.”

The selection of the H160 followed a flight demonstration during the H160’s 2018 North American tour, which demonstrated passenger comfort and the next generation-technology firsthand.

The innovative medium twin-engine H160 is the first member of the H generation. From its inception, the complete design of this helicopter has revolved around the creation of an aircraft with added value for customers in terms of performance, economic competitiveness, safety and comfort. In addition, there is increased external visibility for pilots through the enlarged windshield, lateral and floor level, combined with the aircrafts’ cameras which show one of four multi-functional displays in the cockpit.

Airbus’ digital helicopter avionics suite, Helionix, as well as the 4-axis autopilot, further contribute to the H160’s safety by significantly reducing pilot workload. Along with the integrated automatic functions, Helionix allows the pilot to concentrate on the mission at hand.

The H160 has also been designed to facilitate ease of maintenance, allowing it to reach levels similar to that of a light-twin helicopter. The aircraft’s optimized accessibility has been praised by rotary-wing operators who have had the opportunity to fly in the H160.

ACH – Airbus Corporate Helicopters is the Airbus Helicopters offer dedicated to its private and corporate customers offering end to end service-based ownership experience.


Design to provide ample space and access to equipment for medical crews.

Atlanta, 4 March 2019 – The next-generation H160 is debuting a new air medical interior concept at this year’s Heli Expo trade show, with a cabin-mock up on the Airbus Helicopters booth completed by Metro Aviation. Metro, a longstanding partner of Airbus, developed this specific cabin concept design with needs of North American air medical operations in mind.

“At Metro Aviation, we spend a large amount of time pouring over designs to ensure any configuration that leaves our facility is one that exceeds expectations and eases the burden of air medical professionals who are already faced with a stressful job,” said Metro Aviation Managing Director Milton Geltz. “This EMS cabin concept designed for the H160 was laid out to ensure medical crews have the room and flexibility they need to work efficiently with the right equipment at their fingertips. We are excited about the possibility of completing this aircraft in the future.”

Some key features of the Metro concept interior include machined aluminum cabin floor allowing multiple configurations; four track and swivel medical attendant seats; a Modular Medical Rack (MMR); and an overhead communication panel with radio, audio and touch screen controls.

The H160 is the next generation medium twin-engine helicopter destined for offshore transportation, business and private aviation, public services, and commercial passenger transport. Its entry into service is planned for 2020.

With the largest cabin in its class, wide opening sliding door and positionable stretcher capacity, the H160 is the next generation high intensive care helicopter ideal for long distances critical patient or isolette transport. The air medical configuration on display at the show is just one of the concepts that will be designed for the H160, as this helicopter has the necessary components allowing it to be customized to meet the various patient care mission profiles delivered by air medical providers.

“We are excited to see the wide range of H160 configurations begin to take form, as we gear up for the much anticipated entry into service of this next-generation aircraft,” said Chris Emerson, president of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and head of the North America region. “Metro Aviation is a trusted partner and performs completions on the entire range of Airbus products. We are impressed with their initial concept and look forward to expanding on its development.”

Airbus Helicopters is the leading provider of helicopters to the air medical transport industry. Approximately 55% of the 2,500 helicopters EMS helicopters flying in the world today are Airbus helicopters. In the U.S. alone, more than half of all new air medical helicopters sold in the last decade were produced by Airbus.