High-altitude tests of five-bladed H145 start in Chile
July 4, 2019 By Helicopters Staff
The prototype of the five-bladed H145, which Airbus Helicopters unveiled at Heli-Expo in March 2019, has arrived in Chile where the aircraft will start a high-altitude flight campaign. EASA certification is expected in early 2020, with deliveries following later that year.
The new H145 will be put through its paces in the Andes, with altitudes of up to 20,000 feet above sea level, after having already performed some altitude tests in the French Pyrenees during the summer of 2018. The objective of this campaign, explains Airbus, is to expand the flight envelope of the new helicopter and demonstrate its capabilities at high altitudes.
Airbus states the H145 family is one of Latin America’s preferred light-twin engine helicopters because of its multi-mission capacity and performance in hot and high conditions. This flight campaign will provide some operators with the opportunity to fly the new H145 and experience its five-bladed rotor, which provides an increased useful load of 150 kg and a maximum take-off weight raised to 3,800 kg – with a useful load now equivalent to the aircraft’s empty weight.
Airbus also points to the simplicity of the new H145’s bearingless main rotor design to ease maintenance operations and reliability. The five-bladed design is also said to improve ride comfort, while a reduced rotor diameter will allow the H145 to operate in more confined areas. The new H145 also introduces a wireless Airborne Communication System (wACS) for secure transmission of data generated by the helicopter in real-time, including in-flight.