Up in the Andes
Prototype five-bladed Airbus H145 is conducting altitude tests up to 20,000ft in Chile in anticipation of 2020 EASA certification
The prototype Airbus Helicopters H145 equipped with a five-bladed rotor is in Chile conducting high altitude flight tests in anticipation of EASA certification in early 2020. Customer deliveries will begin later in the year. Flights in the Andes at altitudes up to 20,000ft amsl follow trials in the French Pyrénées during the summer of 2018.
‘Due to its multi-mission capacity and excellent performance in hot-and-high conditions, present in many countries in Latin America, the H145 family is one of the region’s favourite light twin-engine helicopters,’ says Airbus. ‘The flight campaign will provide some operators with the opportunity to fly the new version and experience first-hand the improvements brought by the new five-bladed rotor – the maximum takeoff weight is raised to 3,800kg and, with a 150kg increase, useful load is now equivalent to the aircraft’s empty weight. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations… [while] the reduced rotor diameter will allow the H145 to operate in more confined areas.’
Flights in the Andes are being made at altitudes up to 20,000ft amsl