Airbus Helicopters's new H160 medium twin is making its U.S. debut. Prototype number two (PT2) arrived in Las Vegas for this year's annual Heli-Expo show and is on display before embarking on a three-month customer demonstration tour followed by high/hot testing in Leadville, Colorado. Maintenance demonstrations of the H160 will be performed daily at the show to illustrate how maintenance has been optimized as a result of the helicopter's design and new processes, including the “Operator Zero” campaign.
“This aircraft is emblematic of the company's transformation in every domain from concept and design, to the revamped industrial production model,” said Ben Bridge, Airbus Helicopters executive vice president for global business. The three H160 prototypes have accumulated approximately 650 flight test hours to date. Airbus is aiming for certification next year.
The aircraft features an all-composite airframe, flat-floor cabin, oversize cabin windows, and a baggage compartment that can hold 661 pounds. Its cabin can be configured to seat four or eight passengers in executive/VIP layouts, or 12 in a utility configuration. The H160 also incorporates a variety of new technologies, among them Blue Edge active tracking main rotor blades in a five-blade system with a double sweep design that reduces noise and contributes to a smoother ride, and 10 to 15 percent better fuel consumption than the H155 family it replaces.