Western Power's H135s to be upgraded
Babcock has been awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to upgrade the fleet of five Airbus H135s operated by electricity supplier Western Power Distribution’s Helicopter Unit. The work includes installation of infrared stabilised camera turrets, LIDAR laser surveying equipment, ‘ergonomically optimised’ workstations in cockpit and cabin, next-generation mission system management software, and touch-screen controls that will enhance capability without increasing workload.
‘We are creating a truly bespoke solution that will see these aircraft perform critical tasks, helping WPD manage the service they provide through 220,000km of overhead lines and underground cables,’ says Babcock. ‘WPD needs aircraft to perform highly specific, mission critical tasks ¬– particularly monitoring and surveying their network which covers an area of over 55,500 square kilometres. We will be integrating a range of next generation technologies and will be delivering a bespoke mission system solution that exactly meets WPD Helicopter Unit’s operational requirements.’
The first H135 is scheduled to arrive at Babcock’s Gloucester-Staverton Airport facility in July. The five-strong WPD fleet is expected to have been upgraded and fully operational by the end of 2019.
Upgraded H135: 'a truly bespoke solution'