Helicopters First serial H160 takes to the skies
The first serial H160 helicopter has taken off for the first time. From the new assembly line in Marignane, the aircraft performed a demonstration flight.
Airbus Helicopters has celebrated the maiden flight of the first serial H160 helicopter. At the brand new assembly line in Marignane, France, the H160 team celebrated an end-of-the-year event with the first flight being the highlight.
The first serial H160 features a special paint scheme, which is a testimony to the several hundred people working towards the platform´s certification, stated Airbus. Next year, the manufacturer hopes to gain approval by all important aviation authorities for the aircraft.
Babcock will receive this first H160 helicopter in 2020 as launch customer. In March 2018, the company confirmed to be launch customer for the aircraft. Babcock will use their H160 fleet for EMS and other critical services missions in Europe.
Airbus Helicopters plans to fly the certification tests with the first serial H160 as well. The aircraft will join a fleet of three prototypes. Accumulated, the aircraft already have over 1000 flight hours.
With the first serial aircraft joining the current prototypes, Airbus Helicopters hopes to accelerate the certification process. Moreover, the manufacturer will confirm that all changes that have been made through the introduction of the serial configuration will have no impact on the helicopter´s flying abilities.
The H160 helicopter incorporates latest technologies to provide passengers with more comfort. The Helionix suite will ensure additional safety and reduced pilot workload through state-of-the-art avionics.
Back at Heli-Expo 2015 in Orlando, Airbus Helicopters unveiled the H160 for the first time. The aircraft is intended to replace the AS365 and EC155 models in the company´s line-up. A first flight was performed in June 2015.
Source © airbus.com