New rotor, improved performance for Airbus H145
At HAI Heli-expo Airbus announced a new version of its twin-engined H145. It features a five-bladed rotor ‘which brings a significant increase in overall performance, with a maximum takeoff weight raised [by 150kg] to 3,800kg and a useful load now equivalent to the aircraft’s empty weight,’ Airbus says. ‘The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations… while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew. The reduced rotor diameter will allow it to operate in more confined areas. The new H145 introduces [improved] levels of onboard connectivity to customers and operators through the integration of the wireless Airborne Communication System (WACS), allowing seamless and secure transmission of data generated by the helicopter in real-time, including inflight.’ EASA certification of the new H145 is planned for early 2020, with first deliveries to follow later that year. The upgrade will also be offered to current H145 operators as a retrofit. Launch customer for this is Swiss Air-rescue Rega which will retrofit its seven-strong H145 fleet. “Our patients will profit from the increased useful load. It is a great benefit for our air rescue operation, where every additional kilogram is crucial, especially in challenging environments like the Alps,” said Rega Chief Pilot Heinz Leibundgut.
Heli-expo proved very successful for Airbus, which signed orders for 43 helicopters at the show covering its entire civilian range−h125, H130, H135, H145, H160, H175 and H225. Twenty-one of the orders were from long standing customer Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH), which signed for a mix of single-engine H125s and twinengine H135s.
Five-blade rotor is smaller in diameter and raises useful load to 3,800kg