Airbus Helicopters has begun testing its public service, medium-sized, twin-engine H175 helicopter (previously known as the Eurocopter EC175) that has been modified for public service use. The company has announced that the first 12 flight-tests were a success and that a new campaign of testing will start in December 2016.
The launch customer for the public service variant of the H175 is the Hong Kong Government’s Flying Service (GFS) that has ordered seven helicopters. These are scheduled for entry into service late next year (2017).
Controller head of GFS, Captain Michael Chan said he was very happy to have the opportunity to fly the H175 in a public service configuration. Praising its high power margin and excellent hovering capability, he said the H175 was ideal for search and rescue (SAR) missions over both land and sea. He was particularly impressed with the human machine interface (HMI) of the helicopter that significantly improves flight safety and also reduces pilot workload during complicated search and rescue operations.
The Airbus H175 Helicopter
The H175, launched in 2016, was designed with support from helicopter operators and various oil companies. A record-setter in several ways, it has established time-to-climb records of 3,000 m in just three minutes ten seconds, and 6,000 m in six minutes 54 seconds.
The H175 has a high-power margin that enables it to perform “performance class 1” takeoffs and landings at maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) in ISA+20 °C conditions from a 70 ft high (about 21 m) platform.
It provides the best payload range per passenger/radius of action (ROA) in the medium class helicopter category and is able to operate at full payload in oil and gas industry missions. When configured for oil and gas industry use, the helicopter can fly:
- Close to 200 nautical miles ROA with 12 passengers aboard
- 140 nautical miles ROA with 16 passengers aboard
- 105 nautical miles ROA with 18 passengers
In addition to its long range, the H175 delivers a particularly smooth ride and offers exceptionally good cabin comfort. Sound levels and vibration are very low even when the aircraft is moving at a high cruise speed.
The rotorcraft can be configured for search and rescue with:
- SAR operators’ consoles
- Cabin-mounted medical equipment
- An external winch
- Oversized bubble observer windows
- Search and weather radar
- Side-mounted searchlights
- Up to six under-fuselage lights as well as main- and tail-rotor lighting
In this configuration, it can hover at ISA+20 °C up to an altitude of 5,800 ft, and maintain its hover flight or rate of climb above 500 ft per minute in these conditions at sea level.
It can also perform exceptionally safe hoists for a long time with the possibility of extending power for as long as 30 minutes continuously. Power can be extended cumulatively, for up to 50 minutes, during a single flight.
The H175 has a spacious cabin that is almost four meters long. Its full, flat floor has big sliding doors on both sides and direct access to the rear cargo compartment. This facilitates the use of stretchers for SAR and speeds up operations in general.
The new GFS helicopters will incorporate an electro-optical system that will be used for tracking and observation, as well as an enhanced digital map display. Both may be managed from a console in the cabin. They will also feature steerable searchlights, loudspeakers, and dual hoists.
While this is a new addition to the Airbus Helicopters fleet, there are already close to 12,000 helicopters that are operated worldwide in 154 countries. Prime Industries has a large inventory of parts for all the major Airbus Helicopters models and helps customers find parts they don’t have in stock. Contact us today to discuss your needs.