Airbus Helicopters is showcasing a mock-up of its newly launched H160 platform at the Paris Air Show from 15 to 21 June.
A scale model of the twin-engined 5.5- to 6-ton-class helicopter, formerly designated the X4, will be on view throughout the event, following its formal launch earlier in the year. With the scale model having first been shown at the Florida Heli-Expo event in March, the H160 prototype performed its first powered ground run on 28 May in the presence of French prime minister Manuel Valls.
The H160 will be a 160 kt capable helicopter that can carry 12 passengers at distances of up to 120 n miles (or a 450 n mile range with 20-minute reserve for tasks such as search and rescue).
According to Airbus, what sets the H160 apart from other helicopters is the inclusion of cutting-edge technology. This includes the noise-reducing and performance-enhancing Blue Edge main rotors that are designed to cut the noise signature by 50% (3 dB) and to increase the lift capacity by 100 kg compared with that of conventional blades. The main rotor assembly is centred on the Spheriflex bearingless main rotor hub, which reduces weight and increases damage tolerance.
Other design firsts include the extensive use of composites, a Fenestron-shrouded tailrotor (the largest to be fitted to a helicopter), which is double-canted at a 12° angle to enhance anti-torque control efficiency, as well as the company's new Biplane Stabilizer. This stabiliser is designed to help the pilot manoeuvre the aircraft, and to reduce the helicopter's aerodynamic penalties in low-speed flight and hover.
The H160's new Helionix avionics package is designed to reduce crew workload through increased situational awareness, while the twin Turbomeca 1,100 shp Arrano engines are geared towards increased fuel efficiency for enhanced range.
Aimed at both the civil and military markets, development of the H160 was started in 2013. To date, three prototypes have been built, with the first flight expected to take place later in the year. According to Airbus, the type should enter service in 2018.
In terms of the military market, Airbus intends to pitch the H160 to Japan for that country's UH-X Army competition. If successful, the company is expected to team with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to build the 150 helicopters required.
Prototype first flew on the 16th of thi month... scheduled to enter into service in 2018.
I'm sorry to say, though it looks nice, this thing went through an incredibly disappointing evolution. I was so excited to see the revised X-3 layout with "safer" convertiplane propellers and increased carrying capacity. Now we have this larger version of similar existing Eurocopter designs. Boring...
The X3 was too complex for commercial application. Makes sense they would choose a more conventional design... people want something reliable and affordable, not radical.
We have here the latest in primitive technology.
Internet + Opinions = OMG we are SCREWED!
Stingray wrote:I'm sorry to say, though it looks nice, this thing went through an incredibly disappointing evolution. I was so excited to see the revised X-3 layout with "safer" convertiplane propellers and increased carrying capacity. Now we have this larger version of similar existing Eurocopter designs. Boring...
The US patent depicting a futuristic looking X3 sucessor is only rumored to be an early X4 design, there is no confirmation yet. From what I have read, the X4 was always meant to be a conventional medium helicopter to succeed the Dauphin and its related designs for modern commercial requirements.
Airbus to show H135 and H160 at Helitech 2015
At this year’s Helitech International exhibition, Airbus Helicopters will expand on how its focus on customer satisfaction, quality, safety and competitiveness is driving its company transformation, further supporting its vision of creating the benchmark in the helicopter industry.
“The entire industry is looking for efficient ways of moving forward in the current fast-changing market environment,” said Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury. “We see this as an opportunity to further satisfy and support our customers, providing them with the best solutions through our product portfolio and service offer.”
The H160 mock-up will make its British debut at Helitech. The new-generation 5.5 to 6 tonne twin-engine helicopter presents striking innovations, including the canted Fenestron, the bi-plane horizontal stabilizer and the Blue Edge Blades, which bring increased performance, reduced sound levels and increased passenger comfort. The H160 will be tailored for a wide range of applications, including public service, oil and gas operations, emergency medical services and business and private aviation.
Also presented on the indoor static display is the company’s H135, the reference helicopter for a diverse range of missions such as emergency medical services (EMS) or police. Thanks to its performance, efficiency and cabin flexibility, it is the best value for money in its category. The H135 allows operators to embark on missions even in difficult weather and terrain, thanks to its excellent OEI (one engine inoperative) performance and new-generation avionics.
Already renowned for its high-quality product line, Airbus Helicopters has made it a priority to reinforce the quality of its support to customers worldwide. Through the launch of its redefined HCare Customer Service offer, which will be showcased at Helitech, the company confirms its commitment to take care of its customers on each and every flight.
The H Pilot Club, an association sponsored by Airbus Helicopters to unite the worldwide community of pilots, flight crew members, technicians, logisticians and flight enthusiasts, will be hosting its first gathering during the show. The event will give members a first glance at how the club works and allow them to interact and contribute to what’s in store for the future.
The concept of an Airbus helicopter is not new. A similar item was designed by Hiller Hellicopter like 50 years ago. This project never got anywhere.
Jasper, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sensing confusion with the topic name. The subject of this thread is in regards to a new twin-engined transport helicopter from the Airbus Helicopters group, formerly Eurocopter before Airbus acquired it from EADS. It's not literally about flying buses.
The second flight-test prototype is going to fly soon.
First flight for second H160
The H160’s second prototype took off today in Marignane, kicking off a busy 2016 for the H160 as it pursues its flight test program with two prototypes.
The second prototype is the first H160 to fly with the Turbomeca Arrano engines. PT1 had accumulated more than 75 hours of flight testing by the end of 2015, allowing the aircraft to open the flight envelope and validating some of the helicopter’s excellent features and outstanding handling qualities right from the start.
“After a very busy year 2015 in terms of flight activities, introducing PT2 is an important step in the H160 development as we will launch performance testing with the Turbomeca Arrano engines.” said Bernard Fujarski, head of the H160 Program. “The development program will benefit from 5 development aircraft; two helicopter zeros and three flying prototypes will be paving the way to entry into service in 2018.” he added.
2016 will be an equally active year for the H160 with the beginning of its commercialization and many other milestones in helicopter development, industrialization and preparation of support activities in order to bring a fully mature helicopter to the market.
Turbomeca Arrano engine flies for first time in H160
The first flight of Turbomeca’s (Safran) Arrano engine, powering the Airbus Helicopters H160, took place today at the manufacturer’s Marignane plant. The Arrano engine met the performance expected for the first flight, during the flight of the second H160 flight test vehicle (PT2). Commented program Vice-President Cyrille Ressejac-Duparc, “This first flight test marks a major milestone in the Arrano development program. 2015 was a very busy year for our team; indeed, Turbomeca was selected in February, as exclusive engine supplier for the H160 with a challenging helicopter program schedule to follow. Meeting Airbus Helicopters requirements in terms of performance and schedule remains our highest priority”. Since its first ground run in February 2014, more than ten test engines have been running at Bordes (France) to demonstrate performance. Major development and certification tests now include a rigorous endurance evaluation campaign. The turbine’s fuel consumption target has already been achieved: data indicates a 10 to 15% reduction compared with current models. Arrano is positioned at the leading-edge of the new Turbomeca generation of rotorcraft engine. The 1,100 to 1,300 shaft horse-power unit, designed for four-to-six ton helicopters, features an ideal combination of new and proven technologies that allow a significant reduction in direct maintenance and operating costs. In line with H160 aircraft program schedule, Arrano engine entry-into-service is also scheduled for 2018 and FAA/EASA certification will meet that timetable.
Turbomeca (Safran) is the leading helicopter engine manufacturer and, since its foundation in 1938, has produced over 72,000 turbines. Turbomeca offers the widest range of helicopter engines in the world and has more than 2,500 customers in 155 countries. Turbomeca has 15 sites and operates on each continent, providing its customers with a proximity service through 39 distributors and certified maintenance centers, 18 Repair & Overhaul Centers, and 90 Field Representatives and Field Technicians. Turbomeca subsidiary Microturbo is the leading European manufacturer of turbojet engines for missiles, drones and auxiliary power units.