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Airbus unveils new H145

UPDATED March 7: Airbus Helicopters at Heli-Expo 2019 unveiled a new version of its H145 light twin-engine helicopter. This upgrade brings a new, five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg.


March 5, 2019
By Helicopters Staff
The five-bladed rotor of the new H145 raises the aircraft’s maximum take-off weight to 3,800 kg. (Photo: Airbus)

EASA certification of the new H145 is planned for early 2020, with first deliveries to follow later that year. This upgrade will also be offered to current H145 customers as a retrofit option.

Swiss Air-Rescue Rega is slated to become the worldwide retrofit launch customer for the 5-bladed H145 system, which will be applied to its entire H145 fleet of seven helicopters. Rega is currently replacing its EC145 fleet with H145 helicopters. Six out of seven H145s have already been delivered, with the last one to follow in May this year.

North Carolina air medical operator Dare County MedFlight will be the first customer in North America to retrofit its helicopter to the new 5-bladed version. Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation (NAAF) is to become the launch customer in the emergency medical services (EMS) sector for the new H145 helicopter. It has ordered a single H145 which will be used for research and development purposes.

“Our teams have worked hard to quickly bring to the market a set of innovations that we believe will contribute to the success of our customers’ operations,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “It is their trust in the H145 and all its predecessor variants over the last decades that have made it the fantastic helicopter it has become today.”

Airbus explains the H145’s new five-bladed rotor brings a significant increase in overall performance, with a maximum take-off weight raised to 3,800 kg and a useful load now equivalent to the aircraft’s empty weight.

The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design, according to Airbus, will also ease maintenance operations, improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew. The reduced rotor diameter will allow the H145 to operate in more confined areas.

The new H145 also introduces new levels of on-board connectivity through the integration of the wireless Airborne Communication System (wACS), allowing secure transmission of data generated by the helicopter in real-time, including in-flight.

Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes 4-axis autopilot and what Airbus describes as particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.