Copyright © Anthony Pecchi
Dallas, 9 March 2022 - Airbus Helicopters puts the spotlight on recently developed improvements for its single-engine helicopter family aimed at enhancing performance and flight safety.
Following the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification in April 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S. and Transport Canada (TCCA) in Canada have recently certified the H125 power upgrade, which increases the aircraft’s performance by up to 10% by making full use of the available power of the existing Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 2D engine. This major evolution, allowing H125 operators to benefit from up to 320 lb (145 Kg) of additional payload and already proposed as baseline in Europe, will be included as a standard feature at no additional cost on all new H125s delivered in North America as of Q2 2022.
The additional payload gains get even bigger when the power upgrade is coupled with the BLR FastFin tail rotor enhancement and stability system, which received FAA certification last month. The cumulative payload gain is up to 485 lb (220 Kg).
“Improving aviation safety while boosting the competitiveness of our products is one of our top priorities at Airbus Helicopters. With the H125 having raised the bar to unprecedented levels in terms of performance and value for money, Airbus Helicopters has also worked in the last year to bring several new features which will significantly enhance the flight safety of the H125 and the H130,” says Axel Aloccio, Head of Light Helicopters Programme at Airbus Helicopters.
Among the new safety enhancing technologies, a new light data recorder will be available as optional equipment for H125 operators in the last quarter of 2022 and later for H130 operators; hardened and lightweight, this system will record flight data so that all information can be retrieved in the event of an incident. In parallel, all forward-fit H125s and H130s will be equipped, by the end of 2022 and in early 2023 respectively, with a wireless airborne communication system (wACS) from Astronautics Corporation of America as baseline equipment. This system will allow H125 and H130 operators to automatically retrieve their flight, mission, and maintenance data via a 4G or WiFi connection. They will also gain access to Airbus Helicopters’ connected services such as FlyScan predictive maintenance and Flight Analyser flight data monitoring. In addition, the system will have the option to act as an onboard server to interconnect devices and provide passengers and crew with air-to-air and air-to-ground internet on board.
Airbus Helicopters is also announcing the extension of a series of commercial incentives in 2022 to support H125, AS350 and EC130 B4 customers with the retrofit of their fleets with the Crash Resistant Fuel System (CRFS). Airbus Helicopters is introducing a new € 13,000 ($ 15,000) voucher for each CRFS kit purchase, that can be used at any Airbus Helicopter’s approved service centre to pay for CRFS installation and labour costs.
Training being another key element of flight safety, Airbus Helicopters and VRM Switzerland have finalised a partnership agreement for the world’s first H125 virtual reality simulator, a small and lightweight full-motion training device using a virtual reality headset that can fit in any mid-sized aircraft hangar and can be easily transported to multiple sites.
Last but not least, on the H130 side, a brand-new Instrumental panel is available from Q1 2022. Featuring a new Garmin G500H TXi touchscreen main flight display – bigger and brighter than the previous display – com/nav radio GTN650Xi, electronic standby instrument EFD 750, a glove-box in the control panel, a foldable iPad mount and USB plugs, this new cockpit will provide pilots with a significantly-improved human-machine interface and will ease pilot's workload while freeing up valuable space on the control panel.
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