AIRBUS HELICOPTER EC145
The Airbus Helicopter H145, known as the Eurocopter EC145 until rebranding in 2014, is a twin-engine light utility helicopter originally developed and manufactured by Eurocopter and based on the MBB/ Kawasaki BK 117 C1.
A twin-engine aircraft, the EC145 has a capacity of up to nine passengers and two crew members. It is used for passenger and corporate transport, emergency medical services (EMS), and search and rescue. Special military variants include the H145M (UH-72).
The EC145 has a larger cabin space than its predecessor, the BK 117 C1. Other improvements include an increased maximum take-off weight and greater range, which is partly achieved by the addition of composite rotor blades derived from the smaller EC135. The EC145 has a hingeless rotor system with a monolithic titanium hub, and is powered by an upgraded Turboméca Arriel 2E engine. A variable rotor speed and torque matching system (VARTOMS) helps to make it the quietest helicopter in its class.
The EC145 has an all-glass cockpit and a Thales Avionics MEGHAS Flight Control Display System with active matrix liquid crystal displays. Helmed by either one pilot or two, it is operated using the latest avionics systems, such as a full 4-axis autopilot and dual-channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). Three large LCD primary displays control these systems. It is fully capable of Category A operations, and is able to fly entirely under GPS navigation from takeoff to final approach. The EC145 is the first civil helicopter to come fully equipped with night visioncompatible cockpit instruments and lighting.
Safety comes standard with the EC145. Airbus Helicopters’ new Helionix suite provides in-flight envelope protection, pilot assistance, and situational awareness. In accordance with international avionics standards, the Helionix installation incorporates the an innovative alerting and self-monitoring system.
The cabin layout allows for eight passengers in club seating, or nine passengers at high density. The cabin is entered through sliding doors at either side of the aircraft, or through large clamshell doors at the rear of the cabin. Along with the high mounted tail boom, these clamshell doors are designed to provide safe clearance for loading and unloading when the rotors are turning. In an emergency evacuation, the EC145 can carry up to two stretchered patients and three medical staff. Depending on requirements, it can be fitted with emergency floats, rescue hoist, searchlight, load hook, and specialist equipment.
An optional helicopter usage monitoring system (HUMS) tracks the health of the engine according to usage conditions, meaning enhanced cost-effective maintenance. Special maintenance procedures optimise the intervals between inspections, ensuring increased availability and reduced operating costs.