Tag Archives: Airbus Helicopters

Lion maiden flight

8 December 2016, the NH90 Sea Lion naval multi-role helicopter took off on its on-schedule maiden flight at Airbus Helicopters in Donauwörth. Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Deutschland; Ralph Herzog, Director in the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) and Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, Chief of the German Navy welcomed this important milestone in the programme.

German Navy NH90 Sea Lion performs maiden flight
German Navy NH90 Sea Lion performs maiden flight

«We are proud to be delivering this state-of-the-art naval helicopter to the German Armed Forces on time», said Wolfgang Schoder. «This new generation of NH90 naval helicopters, the Sea Lion, has benefited from experience gathered by other countries who have been using it». The NH90 has an increased number of sensors and improved navigation and communications equipment, which means that this military helicopter will also be able to operate in civil air space. The military friend/foe identification has also been updated to the latest standards.

For the BAAINBw in Koblenz, the Sea Lion is also a special project: «We need to keep to a tight schedule if we are to replace the Sea King in time. This requires all those participating in the project to coordinate quickly and efficiently to achieve this», explained Ralph Herzog. «By using an existing NH90 model as the basis for the Sea Lion and adding the required additional functionalities to it, we have been able to significantly reduce the delivery process. This model is also configured not only to be an adequate replacement for the Sea King but is designed so that it can be adapted to future roles».

«The Navy is looking forward, as the first customer, to be receiving the NH90 Sea Lion on time by the end of 2019», said Vice Admiral Andreas Krause. «We are now expecting a successful test phase». Meanwhile, the Navy is preparing intensively for the acceptance of the helicopters with technical and flight personnel already training. Further measures have commenced at their future home, the Nordholz naval air base. Infrastructural changes and new buildings are necessary.

Deliveries of NH90 Sea Lions to the Navy will start at the end of 2019. When deployed, it will take on a range of roles including search and rescue (SAR) missions, maritime reconnaissance, special forces missions as well as personnel and materiel transportation tasks. The German Armed Forces have ordered 18 of these helicopters altogether, with the last due to go into service in 2022. The second NH90 Sea Lion awaiting qualification testing is currently at the final assembly stage and series production at Donauwörth will commence in the summer of 2017.

In addition to its land-based use in SAR missions, the NH90 Sea Lion is also intended to operate on Type 702 (Berlin class) combat support ships. Thanks to its multi-role capability and future proofing, the Sea Lion will not merely replace the Bundeswehr’s Sea King Mk41 fleet but significantly enhance the Navy’s operational capabilities. The electronic fly-by-wire flight controls of the NH90 Sea Lion reduce the crew’s workload. Other benefits of this control system are its high precision and ease of use, which particularly come to the fore in over-water hovering, even in poor weather conditions.

The NH90 Sea Lion shell is manufactured from advanced, high-strength composite materials. This offers optimum protection for the crew thanks to its excellent crash behaviour.

Five nations are already using the naval NH90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter). They have already completed more than 30,000 flying hours with the 69 helicopters delivered so far: in humanitarian and SAR and military missions on land and on board naval vessels. The German NH90 Sea Lion programme has greatly benefited from the experience gained from these operations. Altogether 129 NH90 NFH helicopters have been ordered; the total for all NH90 models comes to 515. The whole NH90 fleet comprising 296 helicopters delivered so far has already completed over 120,000 flying hours.

 

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

Overall dimensions (rotors turning)
Length 64.18 feet/19.56 m
Width 53.48 feet/16.30 m
Height 17.42 feet/5.31 m
Weights
Maximum Gross Weight 23,369 lbs/10,600 kg
Alternate Gross Weight 24,250 lbs/11,000 kg
Empty Weight 14,109 lbs/6,400 kg
Useful Load 9,260 lbs/4,200 kg
Cargo Capacity
Cargo Hook 8,818 lbs/4,000 kg
Single or dual Rescue Hoist 595 lbs/270 kg
Rescue Hoist on ground 880 lbs/400 kg
Fuel Capacity
7-Cell Internal System 4,486 lbs/2,035 kg
Internal Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each) 882 lbs/400 kg
External Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each) 644 lbs/292 kg or 1,102 lbs/500 kg
Internal Dimensions
Width 6.56 feet/2.00 m
Length 15.75 feet/4.80 m
Height 5.18 feet/1.58 m
Volume 536.78 feet³/15.20 m³
Sliding doors opening 5.25 × 4.92 feet/1.60 × 1.50 m
Rear ramp opening 5.84 × 5.18 feet/1.78 × 1.58 m
NH90 General Performance (Basic Aircraft)
Maximum Cruise Speed* 162 knots/186 mph/300 km/h
Economical Cruise Speed* 140 knots/161 mph/260 km/h
Maximum Rate Of Climb* 2,200 feet/min/11.2 m/sec
One Engine Inoperative (OEI) Rate Of Climb 2 min Rating* 850 feet/min/4.3 m/sec
OEI Rate Of Climb Continuous Rating at 6,560 feet/2,000 m* 300 feet/min/1.5 m/sec
Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect (IGE)* 10,500 feet/3,200 m
Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect (OGE)* 8,530 feet/2,600 m
Maximum Range 530 NM/610 miles/982 km
Maximum Range with 5,511.5 lbs/2,500 kg payload 486 NM/559 miles/900 km
Maximum Endurance 5 h
Ferry Range (with Internal Aux Fuel Tanks) 864 NM/994 miles/1,600 km

* At 22,046 lbs/10,000 kg

Indonesian Panther

Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first three of the 11 AS565 MBe Panther helicopters to Indonesia, ahead of contract schedule, at a ceremony at Airbus Helicopters’ headquarters in Marignane, in the presence of representatives from Indonesia’s Ministry of Defence and the Indonesian Navy.

First three of 11 AS565 MBe Panther helicopters handed over to PT Dirgantara Indonesia
First three of 11 AS565 MBe Panther helicopters handed over to PT Dirgantara Indonesia

This follows the contract signature in late 2014 with PT Dirgantara Indonesia for 11 AS565 MBe helicopters. The delivery of the remaining helicopters will run through to 2018.

«We are excited to witness the handover of the first three AS565 MBe helicopters to our partner today», said Janick Blanc, Head of the Panther programme at Airbus Helicopters. «The AS565 MBe has been developed using state-of-the-art processes and this enhanced variant of the Panther will benefit from an increased maximum take-off weight at 9,921 lbs/4,500 kg. This will provide increased mission capabilities, specifically for the Anti-Submarine Warfare missions these rotorcrafts are expected to perform», he added.

Under the agreement, Airbus Helicopters will supply the AS565 MBe helicopters to its Indonesia industrial partner PT Dirgantara Indonesia, who will reassemble and outfit these rotorcraft in-country, acting as the design authority. This will notably cover the installation of the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) suite which includes a dipping sonar and torpedo launch systems, allowing the Indonesian Navy to carry out its most demanding missions.

This Indonesian MBe Panther programme is the latest of a long-standing relationship between Airbus Helicopters and PT Dirgantara Indonesia, who celebrated their 40 years of strategic partnership earlier this month. The two companies have delivered more than 190 helicopters together, through joint programmes over the last four decades.

«We have been working with Airbus Helicopters on numerous projects for many years by now, and this milestone today further illustrates the commitment both companies have towards this programme», said Budi Santoso, CEO and President of PT Dirgantara Indonesia. «We look forward to receiving these green helicopters in Bandung, as we ready to start the installation of the mission equipment, and the subsequent qualification and certification of our future anti-submarine warfare helicopters», he added.

Recognised as one of the world’s most capable light/medium anti-submarine warfare platforms, the AS565 MBe is equipped with two Safran Arriel 2N engines, which enhance the helicopter’s performance in high and hot conditions, while enabling it to achieve a top speed of 165 knots/190 mph/305 km/h and a range of 485 miles/781 kilometres. It also boasts a new main gearbox, the latest-generation tail rotor and a 4-axis autopilot that reduces crew workload and makes the most demanding missions easier to perform.

Deliveries to run through to 2018
Deliveries to run through to 2018

 

Characteristics

CAPACITY
Crew 2 pilot + 10 troops
Sling load: 3,527 lbs/1,600 kg
WEIGHT
Maximum Takeoff weight (internal or external load) 4,500 kg/9,921 lbs
ENGINE
2 Turbomeca Arriel 2N turboshaft engines, Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)
Maximum power per engine (OEI 30-second rating) 842 kW/1,129 shp
PERFORMANCE AT MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, SL, ISA
Fast cruise speed 143 knots/164 mph/264 km/h
Top speed 165 knots/190 mph/305 km/h
Range with optional auxiliary tanks (at RCS 145 knots/167 mph/269 km/h) 422 NM/485 miles/781 km
AS565 MBe will bring increased mission capabilities, specifically for anti-submarine warfare missions
AS565 MBe will bring increased mission capabilities, specifically for anti-submarine warfare missions

Naval Aerial Drone

DCNS, a world leader in naval defence, and Airbus Helicopters, the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer, are joining forces to design the future tactical component of France’s Naval Aerial Drone (Système de Drones Aériens de la Marine – SDAM) programme. By pooling naval and aerospace skills and expertise, the teaming of DCNS and Airbus Helicopters will be equipped to address all technical challenges arising from the naval integration of the drones through the creation of a robust system architecture that can evolve and adapt to meet every need.

DCNS and Airbus Helicopters join forces to design the French Navy’s future tactical VTOL drone system
DCNS and Airbus Helicopters join forces to design the French Navy’s future tactical VTOL drone system

For DCNS, drones are the roving eyes of the battle system; their missions are overseen by each ship’s combat management system, ensuring increased effectiveness in real time in support of naval operations. Offering a genuine tactical advantage, the VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) drone is an organic component of warships and augments the operational potential of naval forces.

DCNS CEO Hervé Guillou said: «We will continue to innovate in these areas and give drones the capability to perform increasingly complex missions over greater distances and timeframes in an interoperable environment with increased digitalisation of resources. Such digitalisation hinges on the roll-out of cybersecurity solutions that offer better protection of data and communications between drones and ships».

DCNS’s role in the partnership will be to design and supply the entire warship-integrated VTOL drone system. DCNS will design and develop the solutions for the ship-based operation and integration of the drone, including the specification and validation of the payloads and mission data links. DCNS will also produce the drone’s mission system, which will enable real-time management of its operations and allow its payloads to be controlled through the combat management system.

Over the last ten years, DCNS has successfully overseen the French armaments procurement agency (DGA) and French Navy’s main aerial drone study and trial programs, operating both on its own and in partnership. In the process, the Group has acquired know-how that is unique in Europe and possesses solutions for integrating aerial drone systems in warships or enabling them to operate on ships. These solutions have been tested at sea.

A versatile and affordable platform, the VSR700 has been developed by Airbus Helicopters with a view to providing military customers with a solution that leverages a tried and tested civil aircraft and strikes the best possible balance between performance, operational flexibility, reliability and operating costs. Harnessing autonomous flight technologies that have been tested by Airbus Helicopters through a range of demonstration programs, the VSR700 is derived from a light civil helicopter, the Cabri G2 (developed by the company Hélicoptères Guimbal), which has proven its reliability and low operating costs in service.

Under the terms of the partnership, Airbus Helicopters will be responsible for designing and developing the VSR700 drone as well as the various technologies needed for drones to perform aerial missions, such as data liaison, payload and a “see and avoid” capability enabling the drone’s integration into airspace.

«Rotary-wing drones will play a crucial role in tomorrow’s air/sea theatres of operation, performing the role of a roving eye and extending the coverage of surface vessels over the horizon», said Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury. «This partnership will see Airbus Helicopters pool its expertise in vertical flight and autonomous flight technologies with the skills DCNS possesses in naval combat systems, allowing us to respond to the emerging needs of our customers».

Thanks to the VSR700’s specifications, the system boasts superior endurance and payload performance to any comparable system used to date. The device offers big capability with a small size and logistics footprint, resulting in less maintenance and straight forward integration to a broad range of surface vessels.

Mexican Panther

On September 28, the Mexican Navy took delivery of the first of the ten AS565 MBe Panther helicopters it purchased in 2014, becoming the first customer in the world to receive the new version of this multi-role, medium-class military rotorcraft. The Navy will receive three other units before the end of the year and the remaining six by early 2018.

With more than ten years’ experience of flying the Panther, the Mexican Navy is the launch customer for the upgraded AS565 MBe variant
With more than ten years’ experience of flying the Panther, the Mexican Navy is the launch customer for the upgraded AS565 MBe variant

The helicopters will be operated by the Naval Aviation in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Pacific coast, where they will perform a range of missions including Search and Rescue (SAR), disaster relief transportation and evacuation, drug enforcement and coastal protection.

The AS565 MBe combines new and proven technologies to offer more value to operators. It is equipped with two Safran Arriel 2N engines, which enhance its performance in hot & high conditions and enable it to achieve a top speed of 150 knots/173 mph/278 km/h and a range of 422 NM/485 miles/781 kilometers. It also boasts a new main gearbox, a latest-generation tail rotor and a 4-axis autopilot that reduces crew workload and makes the most demanding missions, such as SAR, easier to perform. More powerful and efficient, the AS565 MBe is also safer, more cost-effective and easier to operate.

«The Mexican Navy’s first Panther helicopters came into service ten years ago», said Vice Admiral Jose M aria García Macedo. «Since then they have been our most loyal ally when it comes to saving lives, and it gives us great pleasure to expand our fleet with the more modern version of the same aircraft. Thanks to the state-of-the-art technology on board, the new helicopters will enhance Naval Aviation’s operational and response capability, enabling us to carry out maritime safety missions both day and night, in any weather and in heavy seas».

Mexican Naval Aviation’s AS565 MBe Panthers fulfill NATO’s regulatory requirements in performing landings on moving ships 24 hours a day, and are thus able to operate right across Mexico’s territorial waters. Their equipment suite includes a main- and tail-rotor blade folding system, a deck-lock harpoon and an emergency flotation system.

«Naval Aviation carries out its rescue missions in the most demanding operating conditions, and we are grateful for its renewed confidence in our helicopters», said Mesrob Karalekian, Airbus Helicopters’ Vice-President for Latin America. «The contract also includes training of pilots and technicians to provide the Navy with full autonomy in managing its fleet and optimizing the availability of helicopters».

Yesterday’s delivery of the first AS565 MBe Panther is an important milestone for Airbus Helicopters and for this iconic family of helicopters, which includes 1,000 helicopters currently in service in over 72 countries and have logged up 5.8 million flight hours.

More powerful and efficient in hot & high environments, the new version is also safer, more cost-effective and easier to maintain
More powerful and efficient in hot & high environments, the new version is also safer, more cost-effective and easier to maintain

 

Characteristics

CAPACITY
Crew 2 pilot + 10 troops
Sling load: 3,527 lbs/1,600 kg
WEIGHT
Maximum Takeoff weight (internal or external load) 4,500 kg/9,921 lbs
ENGINE
2 Turbomeca Arriel 2N turboshaft engines, Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)
Maximum power per engine (OEI 30-second rating) 842 kW/1,129 shp
PERFORMANCE AT MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, SL, ISA
Fast cruise speed 143 knots/164 mph/264 km/h
Top speed 150 knots/173 mph/278 km/h
Range with optional auxiliary tanks (at RCS 145 knots/167 mph/269 km/h) 422 NM/485 miles/781 km

 

Kuwaiti Caracal

On 9 August 2016 Airbus Helicopters has signed a contract with the Kuwait Ministry of Defence for the purchase of 30 H225M Caracal multirole utility helicopters as well as an associated support and services package, during the visit of the French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to Kuwait.

Kuwait Air Force and Kuwait National Guard to operate 30 H225M Caracal multirole utility helicopters for combat search-and-rescue and naval operations
Kuwait Air Force and Kuwait National Guard to operate 30 H225M Caracal multirole utility helicopters for combat search-and-rescue and naval operations

«We are greatly honored that the Kuwait Ministry of Defence has chosen the H225M Caracal as the best platform to fulfill its demanding operational requirements», said Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. «Our relationship with Kuwait dates back more than 40 years with Super Pumas, Pumas and Gazelles having been delivered to the Armed Forces of the State of Kuwait over the past decades. This H225M Caracal contract opens a new chapter in our cooperation. I would like to personally thank the Kuwait Air Force which placed its trust in our products to renew its helicopter fleet, and I am also grateful for the confidence of the Kuwait National Guard which has decided to create its helicopter squadron with the support of Airbus Helicopters», Guillaume Faury added.

During the visit, Airbus Helicopters representatives recognized the key role played by French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian who provided his continued support to the realization of this project, in line with the existing France-Kuwait strategic relationship.

Kuwait’s fleet of H225M Caracal will be used for a wide variety of missions such as combat search-and-rescue, naval operations, medical evacuation and military transportation. The helicopters will be operated by the Kuwait Air Force and the Kuwait National Guard. A combat-proven platform with exceptional payload, a world-class automatic flight control system and long endurance, the H225M Caracal has demonstrated its versatility and performance even in the harshest operational environments.

The H225M Caracal is the latest evolution of the successful Super Puma/Cougar family of military helicopters, with more than 500 units delivered worldwide. Kuwait is the latest nation to join the community of Caracal users with 138 H225M Caracal having been ordered so far by France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Kuwait.

Country becomes seventh nation to order the H225M Caracal
Country becomes seventh nation to order the H225M Caracal

 

Characteristics

CAPACITY
Troop transport 2 pilots + 1 chief of stick + 28 seats
VIP transport 2 pilots + 8 to 12 passengers
Casualty evacuation 2 pilots + up to 11 stretchers + 4 seats
Sling load 4,750 kg/10,472 lbs
EXTERNAL DIMENSIONS
Length 16.79 m/55.08 feet
Width 3.96 m/13 feet
Height 4.60 m/15.09 feet
WEIGHT
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 11,000 kg/24,251 lbs
MTOW in external load configuration 11,200 kg/24,690 lbs
Empty weight 5,715 kg/12,600 lbs
Useful load 5,285 kg/11,651 lbs
Maximum cargo-sling load 4,750 kg/10,472 lbs
Standard fuel capacity 2,247 kg/4,954 lbs
ENGINES 2 TURBOMECA MAKILA 2A1
Take-off power per engine 1,567 kW/2,101 shp
PERFORMANCE AT MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, ISA*, SL**
Maximum speed (Vne***) 324 km/h/175 knots
Fast cruise speed (at MCP****) 262 km/h/142 knots
Rate of climb 5.4 m/s/1,064 feet/min
Service ceiling (Vz = 0.508 m/s = 100 feet/min) 3,968 m/13,019 feet
Hover ceiling OGE***** at ISA*, MTOW, take-off power 792 m/2,600 feet
Maximum range without reserve at Economical Cruise Speed 909 km/491 NM
Endurance without reserve at 148 km/h/80 knots >4 h 20 min

* International Standard Atmosphere

** Sea Level

*** Never Exceed Speed

**** Mode Control Panel

***** Out of Ground Effect


Caracal & Tiger in tandem Airbus Helicopters

 

Clean Sky

Airbus Helicopters earlier this year passed an important milestone in the development of the high-speed, compound helicopter demonstrator currently being built as part of the Clean Sky 2 European research programme. A mockup of the breakthrough airframe design has just undergone windtunnel testing in an Airbus facility. The tests proved the viability of the chosen design in terms of efficiency, sustainability and performance, paving the way for a preliminary design review expected end of 2016. Meanwhile, the overall project has passed its first official milestone involving all core partners by reaching the end of its pre-design phase.

Airbus Helicopters advances Clean Sky 2 high-speed efficient rotorcraft demonstrator
Airbus Helicopters advances Clean Sky 2 high-speed efficient rotorcraft demonstrator

Building upon the achievements of the company-funded and record-breaking X3 technology demonstrator, the Airbus Helicopters Clean Sky-demonstrator will help refine the «compound» aerodynamic configuration and bring it closer to an operational design, with the end objective of meeting future requirements for increased speed, better cost-efficiency, as well dramatic reductions of emission and acoustic footprints. Flight-testing of the prototype is expected to start in 2019.

«We are honoured to be carrying out this project on behalf of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking and the large number of European companies who are taking part in the development. Our ambition is to become the benchmark of the rotorcraft industry, and as such we are willing to drive a bold vision for the future of helicopter transportation», said Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus Helicopters Chief Technical Officer. «Our Clean Sky 2-demonstrator will not only be about going faster; it will help make speed smarter by seeking the best trade-off between cost-efficiency, sustainability and mission performance. We want to break the cost barrier usually associated with increased speed and range and pave the way for new missions sets for 2030 and beyond, by providing crucial emergency or door-to-door transportation services to European citizens where they need it most».

Development of the Clean Sky 2-demonstrator relies on a wide European network of industrial partners who are bringing their technical skills and know-how to the project. While Airbus Helicopters facilities in France, Germany, Spain and Poland are involved in areas such as structural and mechanical design, other countries like Romania, Italy and the United Kingdom also highly contribute their expertise through a large number of design and manufacturing work packages.

Ron Van Manen, Clean Sky 2 Programme Manager, highlighted that «The LifeRCraft Demonstrator project in Clean Sky 2 will pull together capabilities from across the European Research Area, addressing technology gaps in systems, structures and overall design and demonstrating the viability of a compound rotorcraft design that can bring a fundamentally new combination of payload/range/speed to the aviation market. In particular, where a rapid response or a key range requirement exists (such as in disaster relief, medical evacuation or search & rescue) this aircraft concept can bring important benefits to the public and open new market opportunities that will strengthen Europe’s already formidable competitive position in the vertical lift aviation sector».

Flight-testing phase to begin before the end of the decade
Flight-testing phase to begin before the end of the decade

H145M for Thai Navy

With 29 April´s successful technical acceptance, Airbus Helicopters has handed over the first two of five lightweight military multi-role H145M helicopters to the Royal Thai Navy. This marks an important milestone in the H145M programme on its way to the final acceptance and entry into service in Thailand at the end of 2016. A delegation from the Royal Thai Navy and Airbus Helicopters Germany CEO Wolfgang Schoder participated in the ceremony at Airbus Helicopters´ Donauwörth site.

Airbus Helicopters hands over first two H145M to Royal Thai Navy
Airbus Helicopters hands over first two H145M to Royal Thai Navy

«After the H145M made its market entry with the German Air Force at the end of last year, we are very proud that the Royal Thai Navy has become another operator of the new H145M», said Wolfgang Schoder. «The helicopter is the most advanced solution for the increasingly challenging demands of our military customers in modern-day missions. It combines state-of-the-art technologies, outstanding performance and true multi-role capabilities while maintaining very high versatility and low operating costs».

The H145M is the military version of the civil H145 that entered service in mid-2014 and has recently reached the milestone of 15,000 flying hours in customer operations. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tons/7,400 lbs, the H145M can be used for a wide range of military operations including naval, utility, reconnaissance, Search and Rescue (SAR), medical evacuation (MedEvac) and armed scout. The Royal Thai Navy H145M is equipped with Multi-Purpose Pylons including aerodynamic fairings, cargo hooks, hoists, High Frequency (HF) system for SAR operations, weather radar, internal long range fuel tank system and fixed provisions for future special operations upgrade.

These two H145M helicopters will stay in Germany for pilot training at Airbus Helicopters’ Training Academy. All helicopters are scheduled for delivery in Thailand by September 2016.

Designed as a true military multi-role helicopter, the H145M offers a single platform, which is able to perform day and night missions in harsh weather conditions and difficult terrain. Its large mission equipment range, depending on the customer configuration, increases mission flexibility for military operators. The helicopter’s Helionix digital avionics suite – incorporating the in-house developed 4-axis autopilot – is designed to reduce crew workload while providing high levels of safety and improved situational awareness. The H145M is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E equipped with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). Its low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.

The H145 helicopter family has proven its value for military customers for many years. For instance, the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), the launch customer for the H145M, has ordered 15 of these helicopters in a Special Forces configuration. The third helicopter will be delivered in the coming days.

The H145M’s power, range, endurance and payload capability provide a multitude of deployment possibilities, especially when operating in high-and-hot conditions at altitudes of 6,000 feet/1,829 m and temperatures of 95 deg. F
The H145M’s power, range, endurance and payload capability provide a multitude of deployment possibilities, especially when operating in high-and-hot conditions at altitudes of 6,000 feet/1,829 m and temperatures of 95 deg. F

 

Characteristics

DIMENSIONS
Length (rotor rotating) 44.72 feet/13.63 m
Fuselage length 38.35 feet/11.69 m
Height 13.12 feet/4 m
Main rotor diameter 36.09 feet/11 m
Width (blades folded) 8.89 feet/2.71 m
CAPABILITIES
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 8,157 lbs/3,700 kg
Useful Load 3,900 lbs/1,769 kg
Sling load 3,307 lbs/1,500 kg
Maximum seating 1/2 pilots + 10/9 troops
ENGINE
2 × Turbomeca ARRIEL 2E turboshaft engines
Maximum Continuous Power (MCP) 2×771 shp/2×575 kW
Take-Off Power (TOP) 2×894 shp/2×667 kW
2 min One Engine Inoperative (OEI) 1×1,038 shp/1×775 kW
30 sec OEI-power 1×1,072 shp/1×800 kW
PERFORMANCE AT MTOW
Speed (Vne – never exceed speed) 135 knots/155 mph/250 km/h
Fast Cruise speed (Vh – maximum speed) 132 knots/152 mph/244 km/h
Maximum range 357 NM/411 miles/662 km
Hover ceiling OGE (TOP), ISA 8,858 feet/2,700 m

 

Flight demonstration of the first two of five lightweight military multi-role H145M helicopters to the Royal Thai Navy

 

H160 ready
to the market

After its worldwide debut at Heli-Expo in 2015, Airbus Helicopters is now launching the commercialisation of the H160 with letters of intent available for potential customers. «The public response to the H160 has been fantastic and we have started discussions with customers for different mission configurations for the H160», explained Guillaume Faury, President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters. «Development is now moving forward with two prototypes flying and a third one being built, meaning that we will soon be able to confirm the aircraft’s performance details that are essential to our customers», he added.

Airbus Helicopters ready to sign letters of intent for the H160
Airbus Helicopters ready to sign letters of intent for the H160

Carrying out twenty percent more flight hours per month than previous developments at the same stage thanks to the System Helicopter 0 & Dynamic Helicopter 0 ground test facilities, the first prototype (PT1) has logged around 100 hours. The second prototype (PT2), that took off on 27 January, 2016 has started performance flight tests with Turbomeca’s Arrano engine. The third prototype (PT3) will join its fellow aircraft in 2017 and will essentially be employed to develop the different mission configurations, testing cabin interiors and optionals that will be available to customers.

At this year’s Heli-Expo, Airbus Helicopters is showing the H160 in a digital format, highlighting its inherent multi-role capacities. A dedicated virtual reality corner will allow future customers to visualize the H160 in different seating configurations for oil and gas missions, public services operations (such as medevac and law enforcement) and emergency medical services.

The H160 will pioneer a brand new industrial model, improving competitiveness and customer satisfaction with the final assembly being performed in 18 weeks instead of 36 for the previous generation. Having partnered with Latécoère Services for a state of the art integrated final assembly line for which the first station will be implemented at the end of 2016, the H160 is gearing up to its serial production. This automated moving flow line will be comprised of two production lines, each equipped with several workstations capable of assembling the different H160 configurations.

Airbus Helicopters associated key operators to the EASA-led (European Aviation Safety Agency) Maintenance Steering Group (MSG-3) process so that all inspection or maintenance requirements have been questioned, all intervals have been challenged, and the resulting maintenance schedule will significantly reduce the maintenance burden and improves aircraft availability. The H160 will be as simple to maintain as a light twin helicopter.

The H160 support and services strategy relies on the digital continuity development process implemented from the beginning of the program. Digital servicing enables a seamless management of operators’ evolving business whether it is airworthiness, maintenance, material management, or training. The H160 will implement a paperless multi-support philosophy, enabling a quick and accurate information exchange and allowing our customers to make decisions faster. With the recent signature of the full-flight simulator partnership with Thales and Helisim, Airbus Helicopters also wants to ensure best in class safety from entry into service for its future customers.

Development, industrialization and customer support on track for 2018 entry into service
Development, industrialization and customer support on track for 2018 entry into service

The second prototype

The H160’s second prototype (PT2) took off on January 27 in Marignane, kicking off a busy 2016 for the H160 as it pursues its flight test program with two prototypes.

The H160’s second prototype took off in Marignane
The H160’s second prototype took off in Marignane

The second prototype is the first H160 to fly with the Turbomeca Arrano engines. The first prototype (PT1) had accumulated more than 75 hours of flight testing by the end of 2015, allowing the aircraft to open the flight envelope and validating some of the helicopter’s excellent features and outstanding handling qualities right from the start.

Arrano is positioned at the leading-edge of the new Turbomeca generation of rotorcraft engine. The 1,100 to 1,300 shaft horse-power unit (820 to 970 kW), designed for four-to-six ton helicopters, features an ideal combination of new and proven technologies that allow a significant reduction in direct maintenance and operating costs.

In line with H160 aircraft program schedule, Arrano engine entry-into-service is also scheduled for 2018 and Federal Aviation Administration/European Aviation Safety Agency (FAA/EASA) certification will meet that timetable.

«After a very busy year 2015 in terms of flight activities, introducing PT2 is an important step in the H160 development as we will launch performance testing with the Turbomeca Arrano engines», said Bernard Fujarski, head of the H160 Program. «The development program will benefit from 5 development aircraft; two helicopter zeros and three flying prototypes will be paving the way to entry into service in 2018», he added.

2016 will be an equally active year for the H160 with the beginning of its commercialization and many other milestones in helicopter development, industrialization and preparation of support activities in order to bring a fully mature helicopter to the market.

 


Airbus Helicopters’ second H160 prototype takes… by AirbusHelicopters

Six additional NH90

The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has ordered six additional NH90 helicopters in Tactical Troop Transport (TTH) configuration, bringing the total amount of NH90 TTHs on order for the French Army Aviation to 74.

An additional six in the TTH version, bringing overall fleet to 74 orders
An additional six in the TTH version, bringing overall fleet to 74 orders

«The French armed forces have deployed the NH90 operationally in Mali where its outstanding endurance, versatility and manoeuvrability have been greatly appreciated», said Guillaume Faury, President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters. «This additional order for six NH90s, to be delivered in 2017-2019, confirms the essential role that new-generation multirole helicopters play in modern operations», he added.

Combat-proven since 2010, the NH90 TTH has been successfully deployed by several countries in different theatres of operation. With a wide modular cabin, large sliding doors on each side and a rear ramp, the NH90 can be rapidly configured for such missions as troop transport with a 20-seat configuration, light vehicle transport, casualty evacuation with 12 stretchers, cargo airlift with standard NATO pallets, armed tactical transport, as well as combat search and rescue (SAR). An extensive list of role-tailored equipment allows the NH90 to fit operators’ mission needs.

The NH90’s 4-axis autopilot and fly-by-wire controls contribute to safety and maximum flight performance in severe operating conditions. The NH90 is the first serial helicopter in the world to be equipped with fly-by-wire technologies, significantly reducing pilot workload and allowing for this state-of-the-art helicopter to be piloted with ease.

To date, around 270 NH90 have been delivered to 13 countries and have logged nearly 100,000 flight hours, confirming the success of this helicopter on the export market.

NH90 TTH – a troop transport of up to 20 fully equipped troops
NH90 TTH – a troop transport of up to 20 fully equipped troops

 

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

Overall dimensions (rotors turning)
Length 64.18 feet/19.56 m
Width 53.48 feet/16.30 m
Height 17.42 feet/5.31 m
Weights
Maximum Gross Weight 23,369 lbs/10,600 kg
Alternate Gross Weight 24,250 lbs/11,000 kg
Empty Weight 14,109 lbs/6,400 kg
Useful Load 9,260 lbs/4,200 kg
Cargo Capacity
Cargo Hook 8,818 lbs/4,000 kg
Single or dual Rescue Hoist 595 lbs/270 kg
Rescue Hoist on ground 880 lbs/400 kg
Fuel Capacity
7-Cell Internal System 4,486 lbs/2,035 kg
Internal Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each) 882 lbs/400 kg
External Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each) 644 lbs/292 kg or 1,102 lbs/500 kg
Internal Dimensions
Width 6.56 feet/2.00 m
Length 15.75 feet/4.80 m
Height 5.18 feet/1.58 m
Volume 536.78 feet³/15.20 m³
Sliding doors opening 5.25 × 4.92 feet/1.60 × 1.50 m
Rear ramp opening 5.84 × 5.18 feet/1.78 × 1.58 m
NH90 General Performance (Basic Aircraft)
Maximum Cruise Speed* 162 knots/186 mph/300 km/h
Economical Cruise Speed* 140 knots/161 mph/260 km/h
Maximum Rate Of Climb* 2,200 feet/min/11.2 m/sec
One Engine Inoperative (OEI) Rate Of Climb 2 min Rating* 850 feet/min/4.3 m/sec
OEI Rate Of Climb Continuous Rating at 6,560 feet/2,000 m* 300 feet/min/1.5 m/sec
Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect (IGE)* 10,500 feet/3,200 m
Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect (OGE)* 8,530 feet/2,600 m
Maximum Range 530 NM/610 miles/982 km
Maximum Range with 5,511.5 lbs/2,500 kg payload 486 NM/559 miles/900 km
Maximum Endurance 5 h
Ferry Range (with Internal Aux Fuel Tanks) 864 NM/994 miles/1,600 km

* At 22,046 lbs/10,000 kg

NH90 TTH (Tactical Troop Transport)
NH90 TTH (Tactical Troop Transport)