Airbus H160 – The future of Helicopters

It isn’t often you get totally blown away by a new helicopter but when Airbus announced the distinct features and attributes planned for the H160, we were genuinely excited and keen for every drop of new information.

They recently released photographs and specifications of their prototype and we were not disappointed. If there was only one helicopter we’d like to take for a flight this is it.

As you can see in the video, photos and the details below this is an aircraft of the future and one we’d love to see in our fleet.

Making Some Fuss about Airbus

On the 3rd March 2015 at Heli-Expo in Florida, the much anticipated launch of the new H160 – raising the standards for performance, cost effectiveness, passenger comfort and environmental impact.

As the first product introduced with the Airbus Helicopters identity the H160 integrates some 68 different Airbus patented technologies.

During a press conference held on June 16 at the 51st Paris Air Show Airbus announced that the first test flight had taken place and the video below is our first look at the aircraft in action.

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Its payload capacity, range and efficiency will enable this particular helicopter to perform a variety of roles including Offshore Oil & Gas, Public Services, Air Medical, Coastguard, Commercial Transport as well as Private and Business Aviation.

With a cruise speed of 160 knots, the H160 will be able to carry 12-passengers on Oil & Gas missions and have a range of 450nm. The Corporate version is envisaged to carry 8-passengers in a VIP Fit.

Lighter and Faster

The distinctive design of the new H160 includes two Airbus Helicopters firsts, both offering improved performance and flight stability – the largest ever Fenestron shrouded tail rotor – Blue Edge Main Rotor Blades which reduce external noise levels by 50% and also allow a payload increase of 100KG when compared to traditional rotor blades.

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, whilst requiring less maintenance.

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The H160’s integration of the Airbus Helionix avionics marks its latest application of the first digital avionics suite to be fully designed and integrated by a rotorcraft company. Operators will benefit from the increased safety that this new system provides – reducing pilot workload, enhancing situational awareness and improved system redundancy.

To power this revolutionary helicopter, Airbus has selected the new Turbomeca 1, 1000 shaft horsepower, Arrano engine, which offers improved range and performance, along with reduced environmental footprint.

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Additional features of the new H160 include an all-electric retractable undercarriage, reducing weight and maintenance. Flexible maintenance programmes can be applied, built around an operator’s requirements, needs and constraints.

The H160 began development in 2013 with a view to the industry taking delivery of the first models in 2018. A corporate version will likely enter service in 2019.

Atlas Helicopters would be delighted to be the first to offer this exciting new helicopter to the UK onshore charter market! Better start saving!!

You can read more about the Airbus H160 here: The H160 opens a new chapter in the history of Airbus Helicopters

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