Regardless of where they are in the world, criminals are known to operate under the cover of darkness. This is why the British National Police Air Service (NPAS) has invested £1.5 million in equipping and standardizing the night vision (NVIS) capability of the UK police fleet of helicopters.
The NPAS has seven H135 helicopters all of which have been upgraded with NVIS by Airbus Helicopters. This means that the fleet is capable of NVIS operations to ground level, which will clearly improve their night surveillance capabilities in all environments and at any height.
The upgrade has involved stripping most of the instruments in the cockpits of the seven helicopters and then re-equipping them to precisely the same standards with new FENN700+ night-vision goggles and flight and mission gear. This standardization ensures that pilots and crew are all familiar with the NVIS capability whichever individual helicopter they fly in.
Airbus has been upgrading aircraft for the UK air police for about 16 years. The first aircraft to be upgraded was a G-POLF Eurocopter in 2002.
The Airbus H135 Helicopter
The H135 is a twin-engine helicopter that has been manufactured for 22 years. In service in more than 60 countries around the world, it was an obvious choice for the police crime-fighting fleet. Incredibly versatile, these aircraft have, in total, been flown more than 4.5 million hours by more than 300 operators.
Since it was first launched, the H135 has continued to evolve, extending both its performance and mission capabilities. It also boasts low fuel consumption and is well known for its low sound levels and endurance, both of which are a huge plus for police operations and general law enforcement. In fact, the sound footprint of the H135 is so much lower than other helicopters in this class that it is even permitted to fly in the Grand Canyon which has incredibly stringent noise limitations!
It can land just about anywhere, in any conditions however high or hot. It also carries more payload over longer distances than other rotorcraft in the same category.
The newest H135s feature state-of-the-art cockpit safety with a new four-axis autopilot. The helicopter’s high-set main rotor also contributes to increased operational safety.
According to Airbus, the H135 sets the benchmark for maintenance costs. Inspection intervals are remarkably long, with intermediate inspections required at 500 flight hours and periodic inspections required every three years or 1,000 hours, whichever is first.
The H135 was granted its first NVIS certification in 2009, giving it night vision goggle (NVG)-aided operational capacity. The NVIS system certification allows the helicopter to be fitted with lighting in the cockpit, cabin, and on the exterior that is night vision friendly. It is particularly useful in autonomous operations including emergency medical services, and of course for law enforcement.
Airbus H135 Helicopter Parts & Service
Prime Industries has an extensive inventory that includes both helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft parts and components, including those manufactured by Airbus. If you need parts for your H135 or any other aircraft, contact us for assistance.