Airbus Helicopters unveiled a new version of its H145 twin-engine helicopter, with "a new, innovative five-bladed rotor,” a useful load increased by 150 kg, and "new levels of comfort, simplicity and connectivity."
The H145 is a light utility aircraft developed by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) and introduced in 1999. "Utility helicopters" are multi-purpose aircraft used for military ground attack, air assault, logistics, medical evacuations, command/control, and troop transport.
The new H145 design has a five-bladed rotor and a maximum take-off weight increased to 3,800 kg. A reduced rotor diameter will allow the H145 to operate in more confined areas.
The helicopter is powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, and equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite.
The new bearingless main rotor design will simplify maintenance operations, according to Airbus, as well as improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew.
The new H145 introduces greater on-board connectivity by integrating the wireless Airborne Communication System (wACS) for secure data transmission from the helicopter in real-time, including in-flight.
“Our teams have worked hard to quickly bring to the market a set of innovations that we believe will contribute to the success of our customers’ operations. It is their trust in the H145 and all its predecessor variants over the last decades that have made it the fantastic helicopter it has become today, and I want to thank them for their continuous support,” stated Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even.
Airbus anticipates European Air Safety Administration certification by early 2020 for the new design. First deliveries will follow later next year.