New Photo Report Page now available on the Website.
…. 140 images from our correspondents at Heli-Expo 2015.
Thanks to Gianfilippo COLASANTO & Oscar BERNARDI.
PRESS RELEASE – 5 March 2015
Airbus Helicopters introduces the H generation and reinforces customer satisfaction .
Orlando, Florida, 05 March, 2015 – Airbus Helicopters’ presence at this year’s Heli-Expo showcased the company’s customer-focused transformation, with the unveiling its all-new H160 mid-sized rotorcraft, the introduction of the company’s enhanced customer services offer, and the announcement of new orders for operators in the U.S. and Europe.
The H160’s reveal on opening day was the most anticipated event at Heli-Expo 2015 in the Orange County Convention Center at Orlando, Florida, and attracting a worldwide audience via live on-line streaming coverage.
With its distinctive styling – which includes sleek airframe profiling, the all-new Biplane Stabilizer™, highly swept Blue Edge® main rotor blades, and a double-canted tail incorporating the largest-ever Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor – the H160’s highly refined look ushered in a new era of rotorcraft design and operational efficiency.
First flight of the H160 is planned later this year, followed by a targeted service entry beginning in 2018 for such mission applications as oil and gas operations; public services, air medical and coast guard duties; along with commercial transport, private and business aviation.
“Airbus Helicopters’ priorities of customer satisfaction, quality and safety, and competitiveness have been our drivers of success for this year’s show,” said Guillaume Faury, President & CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “Our teams are proud and excited to have introduced to the industry the H160, a helicopter which is a perfect example of what we mean when we say if it is important to our customers, it is essential to us.”
Airbus Helicopters also announced the new “H” designations across its product lines, symbolic of the company’s full integration in the Airbus Group and consistent with the numbering used by the Airbus commercial jetliner manufacturer.
And the “H” is not just for its product line: Airbus Helicopters rolled out its HCare Customer Service offer, with comprehensive coverage through commitments to quality and performance for enhanced customer satisfaction, operational availability and safety.
New business announced at Heli-Expo was led by Bristow Group’s more than tripling of its orders for Airbus Helicopters’ super-medium-sized H175, and the agreement of this leading helicopter services provider for a comprehensive support services agreement. Deliveries of Bristow’s H175s will begin in October 2016 for deployment in oil and gas operations.
The H135 saw a great success at the show, with signatures for 4 aircraft: Norsk luftambulanse AS signed an order for three H135s to further broaden its fleet of Airbus Helicopters-built rotorcraft operated in Norway and Denmark for emergency medical airlift; and DL Helicopter Technik signed for one H135 to be used for Army and Air Force pilot training in Germany.
Airbus Helicopters displayed on its booth the H145 for Dare County MedFlight, the North Carolina-based medical service provider that is the U.S. launch customer for this twin-engine rotorcraft’s T2 version.
The presence of a U.S. Army UH-72A Lakota, which was exhibited at Heli-Expo by the Florida National Guard, underscored the continuing demand for this version of Airbus Helicopters’ H145. The U.S. Army recently ordered 41 additional Lakotas, in addition to the 51 ordered in 2014. A total of 411 UH-72A helicopters have now been ordered light utility missions and pilot training, with 331 delivered on time and on budget.
Also announced at Heli-Expo was the completion of the first H125 (formally the AS350) in the United States, performed on the Airbus Helicopters, Inc. final assembly line in Columbus, Mississippi. This milestone rotorcraft is now in completion prior to delivery, meeting a schedule set nearly two years ago to establish a U.S. final assembly capability for the best-selling single-engine helicopter. During the show, Servicios Aéreos de los Andes signed for 3 H125s (1 firm + 2 options) for utility work in Peru.
Exhibited on the Airbus Helicopters’ Heli-Expo booth was a gold-themed H130 to celebrate the Papillon Group’s golden 50th anniversary. As the world’s largest and longest-operating aerial tour operator, Papillon Group has built its operations with a fleet of Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft.
PRESS RELEASE – 4 March 2015.
Bristow Group more than triples its H175 orders and secures comprehensive support services agreement with Airbus Helicopters.
• Bristow to receive 17 H175 helicopters
• Comprehensive support services agreement also is signed to secure successful operation of rotorcraft
• This is the largest major endorsement for Airbus Helicopters’ new super medium-sized rotorcraft
Orlando, Florida, 4 March, 2015 – Bristow Group today raised its total firm orders for Airbus Helicopters’ H175 to 17, and also signed a comprehensive support services agreement for its new seven-metric-ton-category rotorcraft.
H175 is the new name of the twin-engine EC175. Airbus Helicopters announced at the Heli-Expo 2015 helicopter industry trade show in Orlando, Florida, the renaming of its products to be aligned with the naming of Airbus products overall.
This significant H175 endorsement was formalized during a signing ceremony on the company’s booth. It expands upon Bristow’s initial order agreement, announced two years ago.
“I issued a challenge to the industry at Helitech a few months ago,” said Jonathan Baliff, president and CEO of Bristow Group. “As Bristow purchases helicopters in larger volumes, we look to partner with aircraft manufacturers who will step up to more comprehensive airline-style purchase and support agreements.We commend Airbus Helicopters for being the first partner to proactively share risk and responsibilities and commit to work closely with Bristow throughout the entire lifecycle of aircraft ownership.”
Based in Houston, Texas, Bristow is a leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry. Its current inventory of Airbus Helicopters-built rotorcraft includes the lightweight H125 (formerly the AS350), H135 (EC135) and BK117, along with the medium H155 (EC155) and heavy AS332 and H225 (EC225) Super Puma versions.
Deliveries of the H175s will be from October 2016, with these helicopters to be deployed by Bristow on oil and gas airlift duties.
“Airbus Helicopters and Bristow share a long history together, and I am very grateful to open this new chapter in our partnership. Their order underscores the H175’s position as a rotorcraft of choice for oil and gas operations, which offers a cost-effective solution with excellent operational performance, passenger comfort and safety,” said Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury. “Additionally, the new support services agreement with Bristow further underscores our customer support focus for the highest levels of fleet serviceability, backed by the full resources of Airbus Helicopters across the globe.”Press Release Page 2 of 3
The H175 is the world’s newest super-medium, twin-engine helicopter, bringing new levels of operational flexibility, performance and safety to a full range of mission applications. Since its entry into service for North Sea offshore operations only one week following the first delivery of this helicopter in December 2014, the fleet has performed more than 400 flight hours with availability rates of nearly 90 percent.
The H175 has been certified to the latest airworthiness standards, covering both the rotorcraft and the new Airbus Helicopters-developed Helionix® avionics suite – providing increased safety through reduced pilot workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy.
The H175 is well suited to a full range of missions, including airlift duties in oil and gas operators, search and rescue, emergency medical services, public services, VIP and executive transport. Its range enables 16 passengers in an oil and gas-configured H175 to be transported up to distances of 140 naut. mi., with the range approaching 200 naut. mi. when 12 passengers are carried. Contributing to the H175’s competitive edge is its recommended cruise speed of 150 kts., while the maximum cruise speed exceeds 165 kts. – all achieved at extremely low vibration levels.
Bell torna a vendere in Italia: a Elicompany un Bell 407GX.
4 marzo 2015 – Dopo 12 anni il costruttore americano ha siglato una commessa con un provider del nostro Paese: l’elicottero sarà impiegato per operazioni di trasporto VIP in Sardegna.
Fonte: HELIPRESS, di Stefano Silvestre.
ORLANDO (FL) – Bentornata Bell Helicopter. Dodici anni dopo, la casa texana è finalmente rientrata (per davvero) anche in Italia. L’impegno del costruttore americano in Europa e nel nostro Paese, annunciato a più riprese nel corso degli ultimi mesi, è stato certificato con la vendita di un elicottero Bell 407GX al provider Elicompany.
L’affare è stato celebrato con un evento in occasione della seconda giornata dell’HAI Heli Expo 2015, in corso di svolgimento a Orlando, Florida. Alla cerimonia erano presenti tra gli altri Patrick Moulay, nuovo vice presidente del settore commerciale e marketing globale, Roberto Farnese (Regional Sales Manager), Scott Donnelly, Ceo di Textron e Cristian Forghieri, flight operations manager di Elicompany.
Si tratta della prima vendita conclusa dal nuovo ufficio di Bell Helicopter di Milano, a sette mesi dall’apertura.
A ELICOMPANY IL PRIMO BELL 407GX
“Siamo orgogliosi di aver concluso il nostro primo accordo in Italia, un accordo che segna la rinascita di Bell in Italia dopo 12 anni – ha dichiarato a Helipress Roberto Farnese –, siamo sicuri che questo sia solo l’inizio. Il Bell 407GX ha delle caratteristiche di performance, ergonomia e efficienza operativa che lo rendono particolarmente adatto al trasporto VIP e al mercato italiano. L’accordo certifica una volta in più quanto sia importante lavorare a stretto contatto con i clienti direttamente nella loro regione di riferimento”.
“Eravamo in cerca di un elicottero dalle basse vibrazioni e dalle performance di alto livello, con una spaziosa cabina luxury per accogliere i nostri clienti VIP, con particolare riferimento ai nostri voli charter dalla nostra base in Costa Smeralda, in Sardegna – ha detto Forghieri -. Dopo aver testato l’aeromobile abbiamo capito che era esattamente l’elicottero che cercavamo. Pensiamo che si tratti semplicemente del miglior aeromobile single-engine disponibile attualmente sul mercato per le operazioni corporate e VIP”.
PRESS REALEASE – 3rd March 2015
AgustaWestland Launches 7 Tonne AW139.
Operators to benefit from market leading AW139’s enhanced capabilities.
Provides major payload/range increase.
Baseline aircraft and kit improvements reduce aircraft weight by 100 kg (220 lb).
Option available for existing AW139s in operation.
Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland announced today a significant product development for the market leading AW139 twin engine helicopter with the launch of a 7,000 kg (15,432 lb) increased gross weight kit. This optional kit increases the standard 6,400 kg (14,109 lb) maximum gross weight by 600 kg (1,323 lb) and is 200 kg (440 lb) more than the existing increased gross weight clearance of 6,800 kg (14,991 lb).
When combined with new baseline aircraft and kit improvements that are being introduced on new aircraft this year, which give a typical weight saving of 100 kg (220 lb) for an offshore configured aircraft, operators will be able to benefit from up to 700 kg (1,543 lb) of extra payload.
Existing AW139 operators will be able to retrofit the 7 tonne increased gross weight kit to enhance their aircraft’s capabilities to provide an extra 600 kg (1,323 lb) or 200 kg (440 lb) of payload.
The 7 tonne AW139 allows it to compete with larger types, such as the EC175, on long range missions with 12 or less passengers whilst offering significantly lower operating costs. In offshore configuration a 7 tonne AW139 incorporating the baseline aircraft and kit improvements has a radius of action of 230 nm (426 km) with eight passengers
The AW139 with the 7 tonne increased gross weight kit retains key operating and performance features such as a temperature envelope at sea level of -40°C to +50°C, up to sea state 6 ditching capability and Category A clear area at 7,000 kg (15,432 lb) up to ISA+20 at sea level.
Deliveries of the AW139 with the baseline weight savings will begin this year from the final assembly lines in Italy and the USA.
With orders for nearly 900 aircraft in more than 70 countries from more than 220 customers and over 730 aircraft already in service, the AW139 is the market leading and best-selling intermediate twin engine helicopter in the world. It is also the only helicopter in its class to meet or exceed the latest certification safety standards.
PRESS RELEASE – 3 March 2015
The future is now! Airbus Helicopters unveils its all-new H160 as the benchmark for medium-class rotorcraft.
Orlando, Florida, 3 March, 2015 – In one of the industry’s most anticipated events, Airbus Helicopters today presented its all-new H160, raising the standards for performance, cost effectiveness, passenger comfort and environmental impact to create the medium-class rotorcraft benchmark.
As the first product introduced with the Airbus Helicopters corporate identity and its new numbering designation, this 5.5-6-ton-class rotorcraft’s nose-to-tail breakthroughs in design and systems exemplify the company’s transformation plan that puts customer satisfaction and operational safety first.
Airbus Helicopters unveiled the twin-engine H160 at the Heli-Expo industry show’s opening in Orlando, Florida, where a full-scale representative model is being displayed on the company’s exhibit stand (Booth #2437).
“The H160 represents Airbus Helicopters’ strategy to provide the most efficient solutions for our customers, who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in the most demanding environments,” said President Guillaume Faury. “We are driven by this mission, because what is important to our customers is essential to us.’”
The H160 brings form and function together in a highly stylized rotorcraft, which integrates as many as 68 different Airbus Helicopters-patented technologies. Its payload lift, range and efficiency make this helicopter ideally suited for a wide variety of uses, including oil and gas operations; public services, air medical and coast guard duties; along with commercial transport, private and business aviation.
With a cruise speed of 160 kts., the H160 can carry 12 passengers at distances of up to 120 NM. for oil and gas missions, and a 450-NM range with 20-minute reserve in public service or search and rescue tasks.
The distinctive design of the H160 includes two Airbus Helicopter firsts, both offering improved performance and flight stability: the largest-ever Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, which is also double-canted at 12-deg. angles, further enhancing anti-torque control efficiency; and the all-new Biplane Stabilizer™, whose unique design involves a staggered placement of the dual-level, interconnected stabilizers. This feature facilitates pilot maneuvers and significantly reduces aerodynamic penalties in low-speed flight and hover.
An additional H160 technology breakthrough is Airbus Helicopters’ initial production use of its Blue Edge® main rotor blades, which reduce exterior noise levels by 50 percent (3 dB) and also allow a payload increase of up to 100 kg. when compared to traditional rotor blades, depending on flight conditions.
The H160 is the first-ever, fully-composite civil helicopter, resulting in an airframe that is lighter in weight, more robust, resistant to corrosion and fatigue, while requiring less maintenance. Airbus Helicopters’ proven Spheriflex bearingless main rotor hub is further enhanced with the application of innovative composite thermoplastic technology – which reduces weight and increases damage tolerance.
The H160’s integration of Airbus Helicopters’ Helionix® avionics marks its latest application of the first digital avionics suite to be fully designed and integrated by a rotorcraft manufacturer. Operators will benefit from the increased safety that Helionix® provides through reduced pilot workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy. In service today on the EC175 and EC145 T2, Helionix® is an avionics family concept that enables software improvements to be integrated and retrofitted on the H160 as well as other helicopters in the company’s current, future and evolved product lines.
To power its H160, Airbus Helicopters has selected the new Turbomeca 1,100-shp. Arrano engine, which offers significant reductions in fuel consumption for improved range and payload performance, along with a reduced environmental footprint. An optimized maintenance concept designed to significantly decrease the need for on-site servicing will contribute to lower operational costs for the helicopter.
Additional features of the H160 include electric landing gear, requiring less maintenance while also allowing more payload to be carried; easy access to various maintenance areas, which was taken into consideration during the concurrent engineering process; along with flexibility in the maintenance plan to match operators’ needs and constraints thanks to the MSG-3 (Maintenance Steering Group-3) inspection methodology.
Airbus Helicopters has invested heavily in the H160 program to ensure efficiency throughout development. Three dedicated prototype aircraft are fully supported by two new ground-based integration test means that enable comprehensive validations of the various system integrations to ensure the highest levels of maturity before the H160’s first flight and shorten the entire development process. The Dynamic Helicopter Zero is a test bench fully representative of the rotorcraft’s dynamic systems, the main and tail rotor flight controls, along with hydraulic, electrical, avionics and health/usage monitoring systems whereas the System Helicopter Zero integrates the H160’s avionics, electrical harnesses, fuel system, hydraulics, flight controls, lighting and all key elements that are connected electrically and involve software.
Development of the H160 began in 2013, with the definition of the final aircraft configuration confirmed this year. The helicopter’s first flight will also take place in 2015 and service entry is planned for 2018.
As the first helicopter to be released under the new Airbus Helicopters identity which fully representative of the company’s core values of excellence, agility, unity and integrity, the H160 introduces the company’s new way of naming its product lines in line with its transformation. Consistent with the strategies utilized by Airbus, the “AS” and “EC” letters for in-production helicopters are replaced by “H.” Military versions will be identified with an “M” after the model name.
PRESS RELEASE – 3rd March 2015
PHI’s AW139 Fleet Passes 25,000 Flight Hours Milestone
A fleet of ten AW139s achieved this milestone performing offshore transportation missions in the Gulf of Mexico
PHI has been operating AW139s since 2011.
Worldwide AW139 fleet has now passed 1,165,000 flying hours
Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland announced today that PHI’s AW139 fleet has passed a key milestone of 25,000 flight hours. The important result was achieved by a fleet of ten helicopters performing offshore transportation missions in the Gulf of Mexico since 2011, with the PHI AW139 fleet leader aircraft having accrued more than 3,500 flight hours in less than 4 years of operation.
PHI has provided a significant contribution to the continuous enhancement of the capabilities and mission reliability of the type, and the overall dispatch reliability is now exceeding greater than 90%. PHI participated since the beginning in the AW139 Maintenance Improvement Team that provides technical expertise to improve the maintenance schedule of the aircraft and knowledge of operational issues related to operating in the demanding Gulf of Mexico environment.
The partnership between AgustaWestland and PHI has been critical also to the continuous development of support solutions in the Gulf of Mexico area, such as the establishment of the AgustaWestland Supply Center in Broussard (LA) in 2013 for the support of the AW139 offshore fleet.
The event marks a major achievement for the AW139 intermediate helicopter model, which is the best in its class with a 56% share of the world market, and follows last year’s one million flight hours milestone for the global fleet of AW139s. The strong partnership with PHI has significantly contributed to guarantee the required level of mission effectiveness through support services and maximize the benefits of operating the best in class AW139.
State-of-the-art technology, outstanding performance, low operating costs and the only helicopter in its class to meet the latest safety standards, have made the AW139 the helicopter of choice in the intermediate twin market. With its power reserve, the AW139 delivers Category A (Class 1) performance from a helipad (elevated or at ground level) at maximum take-off weight with an unmatched one engine inoperative capability.
More than 220 customers from almost 70 countries have ordered approximately 900 AW139 helicopters so far to perform a wide range of roles including offshore transport, EMS/SAR, executive/private transport, law enforcement, utility and government missions. The AW139 benefits from a range of modern, constantly enhanced and tailored support and training capabilities, designed to deliver outstanding mission effectiveness and safety standards whatever the mission, leveraging on the expanding network of AgustaWestland service and training centres worldwide.
PHI is a world leading helicopter services companies supporting the Offshore Oil and Gas, International, Air Medical, and Technical Services industries. The Company’s core business consists of offshore operations in the energy basins around the world. PHI has a long history of operating in the Global Marketplace. In addition to operations in the United States, the company has operated in 43 foreign countries and continues to operate for customers across the globe. PHI helicopters fly 250 miles into the Gulf of Mexico and to locations 200 miles offshore in international waters. PHI’s Headquarters are in Lafayette, Louisiana USA, where daily operations are conducted in conjunction with 45 other PHI heliports nationwide.