PRESS RELEASE – Marignane, 22 January 2021
Airbus Helicopters has started in-flight tests on board its Flightlab, a platform-agnostic flying laboratory exclusively dedicated to maturing new technologies.
Airbus Helicopters’ Flightlab provides an agile and efficient test bed to quickly test technologies that could later equip Airbus’ current helicopter range, and even more disruptive ones for future fixed-wing aircraft or (e)VTOL platforms.
Airbus Helicopters intends to pursue the testing of hybrid and electric propulsion technologies with its Flightlab demonstrator, as well as exploring autonomy, and other technologies aimed at reducing helicopter sound levels or improving maintenance and flight safety.
“Investing in the future remains essential, even in times of crisis, especially when those innovations bring added value to our customers by targeting increased safety, reduced pilot workload, and reduced sound levels,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “Having a dedicated platform to test these new technologies brings the future of flight a step closer and is a clear reflection of our priorities at Airbus Helicopters,” he added.
Flight tests started last April when the demonstrator was used to measure helicopter sound levels in urban areas and to particularly study how buildings may affect people’s perception. First results show that buildings play an important role in masking or amplifying sound levels and these studies will be instrumental when the time comes for sound modelling and regulation setting, especially for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) initiatives. Testing was pursued in December to evaluate the Rotor Strike Alerting System (RSAS) aimed at alerting crews about the imminent risk of collision with the main and tail rotors.
Tests this year will include an image-detection solution with cameras to enable low altitude navigation, the viability of a dedicated Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) for light helicopters, and an Engine Back-up System, which will provide emergency electric power in the event of a turbine failure. Testing on the Flightlab will continue in 2022 in order to evaluate a new ergonomic design of intuitive pilot flight controls intended to further reduce pilot workload, which could be applicable to traditional helicopters as well as other VTOL formulas such as UAM.
The Flightlab is an Airbus-wide initiative, which reflects the company’s approach to innovation focused on delivering value to customers. Airbus already has several well-known Flightlabs such as the A340 MSN1, used to assess the feasibility of introducing laminar flow wing technology on a large airliner, and the A350 Airspace Explorer used to evaluate connected cabin technologies inflight.
ANSV NEWS: 30 Dicembre 2020
A seguito dell’incidente occorso nel pomeriggio di oggi 30 dicembre all’elicottero Airbus Helicopters H125 [AS350B3e] marche di identificazione I-LGLG, in località San Martino, comune di Sarentino (BZ), l’Agenzia nazionale per la sicurezza del volo (ANSV) ha avviato un’inchiesta di sicurezza.
Sostanzialmente illesi i cinque occupanti, completamente distrutto l’aeromobile.
Details available at ASN Accident Page at the following link: https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/246365
PRESS RELEASE – Donauwörth, 18 December 2020
Airbus Helicopters and ÖAMTC Air Rescue have signed a firm contract for the purchase of five H135s. The delivery of the first helicopter of this contract is scheduled for early 2022.
“Our demanding missions require the most modern helicopters available for enhancing our capability for critical missions, e.g. during the night. We have been operating the H135 for more than 20 years, and we look forward to benefiting from the advantages that the Helionix version brings,” said Reinhard Kraxner, CEO at ÖAMTC Air Rescue. “The reduced pilot workload combined with the 4-axis autopilot will be a valuable asset onboard for our crews that rescue patients often in challenging environments.”
“We thank ÖAMTC Air Rescue for their continued trust in Airbus Helicopters and particularly in the H135,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “The H135 continues to demonstrate that it is the reference in air medical rescue all over the world.”
ÖAMTC Air Rescue operates 28 H135 helicopters from 17 permanent bases and 4 additional bases during the wintertime in Austria. Last year, the operator performed more than 20,000 missions, with on average 52 missions per day.
The H135 is the helicopter of reference for helicopter emergency medical service operators worldwide. It combines a wide, unobstructed cabin with excellent performance, range and payload capacity – along with low sound levels. The oversized sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors enable fast loading/unloading of patients, with additional safety during ground operations provided by Airbus’ signature shrouded Fenestron tail rotor.
On top of the 4-axis autopilot, Helionix offers an innovative cockpit layout which helps to increase situational awareness. Designed with three large electronic displays on the H135, the cockpit is Night Vision Goggle compatible and includes a First Limit Indicator which highlights the appropriate engine instrument data for the pilot in one indicator.
To date, more than 1,400 helicopters of the H135 family have been delivered around the globe with more than 5,6 million flight hours.
PRESS RELEASE – Marignane, 18 December 2020
Airbus Helicopters and its historical partner Héli-Union have signed a contract for the purchase of two multi-mission H160s to address a wide range of operations.
“We are excited to be one of the first customers to onboard the H160 which will expand our fleet of 40 helicopters. We believe this program will have a great future in both civil and defence sectors and are delighted to be an actor of its growth” said Patrick Molis, Héli-Union CEO.
“We are proud that Héli-Union, with its vast experience across the globe, especially in offshore transportation, has selected the H160 to bolster its fleet of Airbus helicopters,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “The H160 not only raises the bar in terms of safety, thanks to its numerous pilot assistance features, but its reduced fuel consumption brings much needed operational competitiveness, as well as a lower carbon footprint, to the market,” he added.
With 68 patents, the H160 integrates Airbus Helicopters’ latest technological innovations aimed at increasing safety and comfort. The Blue Edge blades and the largest shrouded Fenestron tail rotor ensure low sounds levels and deliver high end performance at the same time. The aircraft’s compact size will be an added advantage to landing on oil platforms. Designed as a multi-mission helicopter aimed at addressing all major missions from offshore transportation, emergency medical services, search and rescue as well as other public service missions, the inherent flexibility of the H160 will suit all kinds of operations around the world.
Héli-Union currently operates a fleet of approximately 20 Airbus helicopters from the Dauphin, the H225, and the H145 families and maintains a wide range of Airbus Helicopters products for third parties such as civil or defence operators.
Héli-Union is a French operator and service provider with 60 years of experience in technical and logistical support to various civil and military organizations around the world. They are active in several markets: support of civil and state aircraft activities in France and abroad, operation of helicopters in various countries, as well as training of pilots and technicians. This experience allows Héli-Union to offer its customers a turnkey solution for the acquisition of new air assets and the deployment of air operations. Héli-Union is therefore positioned as a global partner, offering a wide range of services in order to support its customers in the implementation of air services.
PRESS RELEASE – GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, Oct. 15, 2020
Air Methods Corporation – the largest civil operator of Airbus helicopters worldwide with more than 450 aircraft in operation – has signed a $24 million, five-year HCare Smart support contract with Airbus Helicopters, Inc. to cover its fleet of 31 EC145 helicopters.
“This is the first of what we hope to be multiple HCare contracts, which allows us to partner with Airbus to drive safety, reliability, and cost targets for our customer base,” said Leo Morrissette, EVP of Operations for Air Methods. “This contract provides us peace of mind knowing that we are working with the manufacturer, to provide a higher level of service, and responsiveness for our patients.”
This is Air Methods’ first HCare contract with Airbus, and discussions are underway to extend similar support coverage to other aircraft models in the Air Methods fleet, which also includes the H125, H130, H135 and H145. Air Methods is the leading air medical service provider, delivering lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year. With nearly 40 years of air medical experience, Air Methods is the preferred partner for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. Air Methods has a fleet of owned, leased, or maintained aircraft with more than 450 aircraft.
“Air Methods is a key and trusted member of the Airbus family, and we’re extremely proud to help support the life-saving air medical operations they carry out on a daily basis all over the country,” said Anthony Baker, vice president of Customer Support at Airbus Helicopters, Inc. “With nose-to-tail airframe coverage for their EC145 fleet, we will collaborate with Air Methods to support efficient management, streamline costs and eliminate surprises, with the intent of increasing operational availability and allowing Air Methods to focus its resources on its core business of fully supporting its customer base.”
HCare is Airbus Helicopters’ comprehensive services offering, delivering tailor-made and competitive solutions to customers. It spans five domains: material management, helicopter maintenance, technical support, training and flight operations, and connected services, with experts available on-call 24/7. The HCare material management service starts out with Easy (on-request catalogue services) and Smart (four by-the-hour options), before progressively building up to Infinite (full availability commitments).
PRESS RELEASE – Marignane, 8 October 2020
Customers on three continents have signed firm contracts for the ACH130 Aston Martin Edition helicopter since its launch earlier this year.
The helicopter, one of the most distinctive sights in the skies, will enter service in Latin America, North America and Asia Pacific over the coming months.
Launched in January, the ACH130 Aston Martin Edition is a stylish special version of the ACH130 featuring a range of interior and exterior designs created by Aston Martin to delight helicopter owners who appreciate the thrill of piloting and the pleasure of driving luxury sports cars.
The first example of this exceptional model in Asia Pacific has been ordered by an existing Airbus customer in New Zealand. It will be used privately as well as on VIP charter operations.
In Latin America the ACH130 Aston Martin Edition has just entered service with an undisclosed VIP customer in Guatemala.
Most recently another undisclosed private customer in Canada has ordered the third example which will be completed by skilled craftsmen and women in the UK, where Airbus manages and engineers this Edition, and finally delivered from the Airbus Customer Centre in Fort Erie, Canada.
The aeronautical designers at Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) and the automotive designers at Aston Martin worked closely together for over a year, marrying ACH’s key values of excellence, quality and service with Aston Martin’s commitment to beauty, handcrafting and automotive art to bring a new level of aesthetics and rigorous attention to detail to the single-engine helicopter market.
Frédéric Lemos, Head of ACH, said: “We are delighted with the market reaction to this superb new helicopter. These orders across the world, clearly demonstrate the excitement generated by our collaboration with Aston Martin.”
Babylo Aviation Painting NEWS
Check the BABYLO AVIATION PAINTING NEWS PAGE for the latest helicopters realized at the Caiolo (SO) facility. Here the images of another fine paint job completed on this factory new Airbus Helicopters H125 registered I-HBCC in September 2020.
PRESS RELEASE – Dublin, 5 October 2020
Milestone Aviation and Airbus Helicopters have agreed to include six H160s in Milestone’s orderbook.
The helicopters will be destined for a range of missions including offshore transportation and emergency medical services, the first of which is set to deliver in 2023.
“Today’s announcement will see us enhance our orderbook to include the H160 which we believe will be an important player in the market in the years ahead. It is a versatile, multi-mission aircraft with the opportunity to be used in a number of scenarios, particularly serving EMS operations. It will be a valuable addition to our fleet and we’re already in discussion with operators to place the aircraft into service as soon as they are available,” said Pat Sheedy, CEO of Milestone.
“We are proud that a longstanding customer such as Milestone is renewing its trust once again in Airbus helicopters. I am convinced that the level of innovation that the H160 brings to the market, whether it is passenger comfort, advanced pilot assistance, or its competiveness thanks to its increased fuel efficiency and simplified maintenance eco-system, combined with its inherent flexibility will make it a valuable asset to their operations,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO.
With 68 patents, the H160 integrates Airbus Helicopters’ latest technological innovations aimed at providing passengers with superior comfort thanks to the sound-reducing Blue Edge blades and superb external visibility for both passengers and pilots, not to mention the additional safety features provided by Helionix’s accrued pilot assistance features. The aircraft’s compact size will be an added advantage to landing on oil platforms as well as hospital heli-decks.
I-HCBB – Italian Helicopter Register NEWS
BABYLO AVIATION PAINTING … News Page
Thanks to Davide OLIVATI for these first images of the factory new Airbus Helicopters H125 I-HCBB registered in September 2020 … wearing another fine paintjob realized by Babylo Aviation Painting. Resting at Verona Boscomantico Airfield (VR), September 2020.
PRESS RELEASE – Donauwörth, 30 September 2020
Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first five-bladed H145 to the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation.
This new version of its best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter brings a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission helicopter, increasing the useful load by 150 kg while delivering new levels of comfort, simplicity, and connectivity. It received certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency in June and is now ready to take on a wide variety of missions.
“I would like to thank the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation for their trust in our helicopters and especially in the H145 family of helicopters. I can’t wait to see this new version in operation, contributing to the success of life-saving missions,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “Our teams have worked hard to bring this enhanced multi-mission helicopter to the market quickly.”
“We’re proud to be the first operator to use the new five-bladed H145 for our research and development projects,” says Hans Morten Lossius, Secretary General of Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation. “The increased useful load and the smooth flight make the new H145 the perfect choice for these purposes, which aim to further push the boundaries and enhance Helicopter Emergency Medical Services in Norway and in the whole air ambulance community.”
The Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation, founded by Norwegian doctor Jens Moe in 1978, is the mother company and owner of the Norwegian Air Ambulance. It brought HEMS to Norway by opening a first base near Oslo, using a BO105 helicopter rented from Germany. Today, Norwegian Air Ambulance operates all 13 HEMS bases in Norway and all 4 bases in Denmark using a 100% Helionix-equipped fleet of H135s and H145s. This helicopter is dedicated to support the Foundations important work to improve the HEMS operations.
The new version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta with launch customers announced for all civil and parapublic mission segments.
Certification by the Federal Aviation Administration is under review and expected soon. The certification for the military version of the five-bladed H145 will be granted in 2021. The H145 is developed jointly with Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The first delivery by the Japanese cooperation partner is scheduled for early next year.
Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.