Here the first Leonardo Helicopters AW169 operational for Babcock MCS Italia … I-KYRA “Grifo 69” is now flying on behalf of 118 Abruzzo Soccorso – Regione Abruzzo. Pescara Airport, March 2017. Thanks to Fabio De NICOLA / Pescara Spotters for the images on for their continous support.
17 March 1969 …
48 years ago the Sud-Aviation SA315B Lama made the first flight !
1969: SA315 “LAMA”
In 1968, in response to an invitation for bids from the Indian government, the Helicopter Division decided to combine the airframe of an Alouette II with the dynamic components of the Alouette III. The helicopter performed its first flight on March 17, 1969 with Roland Coffignot and Gérard Boutin at the crew.
It was initially planned to land the helicopter on top of the Himalayas. But authorization could not be obtained, and it was then decided that an attempt would be made to set a world record using the aircraft.
On June 21, 1972, Jean Boulet set the altitude record for all categories combined when he climbed to 12,442 meters. This officially certified record still stands today. The turbine also shut down due to the reduction in power, which means that the Lama also recorded the longest auto-rotation in the history of helicopter flying. Until the Ecureuil B3 came along, the Lama was the king of aerial mountain work thanks to the amazing amount of power it could generate for its weight. A total of 447 Lamas would be delivered by Sud Aviation / Aerospatiale. India also was licensed to manufacture the Lama under the name Cheetah.
Heli-Expo 2017 PRESS RELEASE – 7 March 2017
STAT MedEvac to be first U.S. air medical transport service provider to operate Helionix-equipped H135s.
• Pennsylvania operator to take delivery of helicopters with new safety enhancing technology in fourth quarter 2017
• Airbus Helicopters developed advanced avionics system
Dallas, Texas, March 7, 2017 – STAT MedEvac will soon be the first air medical transport service in North America to operate Airbus H135 helicopters equipped with Helionix, an innovative and powerful avionics system.
The Pennsylvania-based critical care transport team has placed orders with Airbus Helicopters Inc. for three new H135s to replace older aircraft in its fleet, with delivery scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2017. The Airbus developed Helionix system, an advanced avionics suite that increases mission flexibility and enhances flight safety, will be standard equipment on new production H135s. Comprised of two computers and a one-of-a-kind cockpit layout, Helionix includes up to four electronic displays designed to improve pilots’ situational awareness. The system provides a four-axis autopilot to reduce pilot workload and a Traffic Advisory System that improves safety by assisting pilots in detecting and avoiding other aircraft.
“The addition of these H135s builds upon STAT’s commitment to safety,” said Doug Garretson, President, and CEO of STAT MedEvac. STAT MedEvac was the first air medical transport program in North America to operate the EC135 and the EC135 certificated for Single Pilot IFR. “STAT MedEvac maintains the highest degree of safety in all our operations, and we are very proud of our safety culture,” Garretson said. “We are thankful the H135 series continues to evolve, enabling us to operate to the standards we set. We continue to invest in twin-engine, IFR platforms, and the H135 delivers what we need to meet our goals for the product and support.” “All of us at Airbus are extremely proud that STAT MedEvac, one of the world’s outstanding air medical transport providers with a superb safety record, has chosen to upgrade its fleet with the Helionix-equipped H135,” said Chris Emerson, President of Airbus Helicopters Inc. “Helionix is the latest Airbus product improvement that will significantly enhance the safety of helicopter operations.” With 17 sites in Pennsylvania and surrounding states, STAT MedEvac is the critical care transport system for the Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania and is one of the largest air medical providers in the United States. STAT MedEvac flies a combination of Airbus H135 and H145 series helicopters.
Heli-Expo 2017 PRESS RELEASE – 7 March 2017
Waypoint Leasing to bolster fleet with 16 new Airbus helicopters Comprising H145, H135, and for the first time, the H175.
Dallas, Texas, 7 March 2017, – Airbus Helicopters and Waypoint Leasing (Ireland) Limited, the largest independent global helicopter leasing company, announced today that Waypoint has committed to acquiring an additional 16 Airbus rotorcraft, adding to their fleet of more than 140 aircraft, 45 of which are manufactured by Airbus Helicopters.
The agreement, for more than € 100 million, covers the purchase of 16 aircraft including supplementary H135s and H145s and adding the H175 for the first time to Waypoint’s fleet. Waypoint will primarily lease the H135s and H145s to operators performing EMS and utility missions worldwide, while the H175 will be available for oil and gas, search and rescue and public service missions. Prior to today’s announcement, Waypoint had firm commitments for 26 H135s and H145 from Airbus.
“We are pleased to be growing our fleet with 16 new Airbus helicopters, including the H175, a cost-effective and reliable helicopter,” said Ed Washecka, Chief Executive Officer of Waypoint Leasing. “We are beginning to see sustained demand for heavy aircraft in the market, while at the same time recognizing and responding to the growing demand for interest in ‘Super Medium’ aircraft that are well-suited for a wide range of missions,” he added.
After successfully introducing new H135s and H145s to the leasing market, Waypoint is now extending their initial contract, capitalizing on an industrial relationship to continue providing the market with flexible lease solutions.
“We are proud that Waypoint has renewed their trust in Airbus Helicopters by adding the H175 to their order book”, said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “This agreement is a testimony to the quality of our long-lasting partnership and we are delighted that Waypoint, the first lessor to introduce the H145 and H135 to the market, continues to pave the way with Airbus products, providing world-class support and meeting the demanding requirements of a large variety of operators worldwide” he added.
The H175 offers excellent payload for short and long range missions, contributing to high annual productivity for operators. This, combined with low operating and maintenance costs and high availability, means superior cost effectiveness for customers. Compact in size, the H145’s large and flexible cabin reconfiguration and powerful engines make it the aircraft of choice for a variety of civil missions and an ideal choice for lessors. The H135’s operational scope includes: law enforcement, emergency medical services, VIP and business passenger transport, and the maintenance of industrial wind parks. Its mature design makes maintenance fast and easy, ensuring optimal dispatch reliability and lower operating costs and thus making it one of the lowest cost twin-engine helicopters to operate.
Heli-Expo 2017 PRESS RELEASE – 7 March 2017
H175 performance further enhanced with 7.8t extended MTOW.
Dallas, Texas, 7 March 2017 – With 12 H175 now in operation and demonstrating the performance and reliability of the aircraft worldwide, the medium twin-engine helicopter continues to be enhanced in order to bring more value to operators. Among the programme milestones recently reached is the certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) of a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) extension from 7,500 kg to 7,800 kg, allowing customers to benefit from an additional payload of 300 kg or an extra 40NM radius of action. The extended MTOW provides increased operational flexibility, particularly in highly demanding oil and gas operations. The MTOW extension is available at no extra cost to the customers and only requires an update of the flight and maintenance manuals. The first H175s benefitting from this upgrade are already flying operational missions in the North Sea. Meanwhile, the H175’s ability to fly in limited icing conditions has also been certified by EASA, ensuring the helicopter is able to operate in the challenging weather conditions encountered in environments such as the North Sea. Certification for snow operations was also granted at the end of 2016. Additionally, oil and gas H175 operators will soon benefit from automated approaches to oil rigs, along with a sand filter that will be essential for operations in the Middle-East. In parallel to these development efforts, certification has also been granted in Russia, Mexico and Australia, paving the way to the entry into service of the H175 aircraft in new regions. Certification in the United States, Malaysia, Canada and Brazil will follow.
With the oil and gas and VIP configurations now in service, Airbus Helicopters is focused on the development of the Public Services version of the H175, prior to the first delivery later this year to launch customer Hong Kong Government Flying Services. This new variant opens the H175 mission set to operations such as search and rescue, emergency medical services, law enforcement, firefighting and border security. The H175 has so far been in operation for offshore transport in 3 continents where it has been praised by the crews by its outstanding performance and reliability well as for the passengers for the visibility, comfort and low sound and vibration levels. In particular, the H175 has accumulated experience in Aberdeen (Scotland), Den Helder (Netherlands), Esbjerg (Denmark) and Takoradi (Ghana) with launch customer NHV — who has recently announced reaching the 10,000 flight hours milestone — and also in the Gulf of Mexico with Pegaso. Since February this year, the H175 has also been flying offshore in Aberdeen with Babcock Mission Critical Services.