As the first product introduced with the Airbus Helicopters corporate identity and its new numbering designation, this 5.5-6-ton-class rotorcraft’s nose-to-tail breakthroughs in design and systems exemplify the company’s transformation plan that puts customer satisfaction and operational safety first.
The H160 brings form and function together in a highly stylized rotorcraft, which integrates as many as 68 different Airbus Helicopters-patented technologies. Its payload lift, range and efficiency make this helicopter ideally suited for a wide variety of uses, including oil and gas operations; public services, air medical and coast guard duties; along with commercial transport, private and business aviation.
With a cruise speed of 160 kts., the H160 can carry 12 passengers at distances of up to 120 NM. for oil and gas missions, and a 450-NM range with 20-minute reserve in public service or search and rescue tasks.
The distinctive design of the H160 includes two Airbus Helicopter firsts, both offering improved performance and flight stability: the largest-ever Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, which is also double-canted at 12-deg. angles, and the all-new Biplane Stabilizer™, whose unique design involves a staggered placement of the dual-level, interconnected stabilizers.
An additional H160 technology breakthrough is Airbus Helicopters’ initial production use of its Blue Edge® main rotor blades, which reduce exterior noise levels by 50 percent (3 dB) and also allow a payload increase of up to 100 kg. when compared to traditional rotor blades, depending on flight conditions.
The H160 is the first-ever, fully-composite civil helicopter, resulting in an airframe that is lighter in weight, more robust, resistant to corrosion and fatigue, while requiring less maintenance.
The H160’s integration of Airbus Helicopters’ Helionix® avionics marks its latest application of the first digital avionics suite to be fully designed and integrated by a rotorcraft manufacturer.
To power its H160, Airbus Helicopters has selected the new Turbomeca 1,100-shp. Arrano engine, which offers significant reductions in fuel consumption for improved range and payload performance, along with a reduced environmental footprint.
Additional features of the H160 include electric landing gear along with flexibility in the maintenance plan to match operators’ needs and constraints thanks to the MSG-3 (Maintenance Steering Group-3) inspection methodology.
Development of the H160 began in 2013, with the definition of the final aircraft configuration confirmed this year. The helicopter’s first flight will also take place in 2015 and service entry is planned for 2018.