Airbus’s new five-bladed H145 helicopter has received FAA type certification (TC) with the first U.S. delivery slated to occur early next year. The TC covers single-pilot instrument flight rules (IFR) and single-engine operations (Cat.A/VTOL), and night vision goggle capability. EASA certified the helicopter in June, and launch customer Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation received the first production model in September.
“The FAA certification is an important milestone for the H145 program, as our customers in North America are eagerly awaiting its arrival and our entire team looks forward to delivering and supporting this new variant,” said Romain Trapp, president of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and head of the North America region. Airbus has begun updates to the current U.S. H145 final assembly line modification and technician training in Columbus, Mississippi in preparation for receipt of the first kits of the new version later this year.
The new H145 variant adds a five-bladed, bearingless main rotor system, increasing useful load by 330 pounds, simplifying maintenance, and delivering a smoother ride. The helicopter’s twin Safran Arriel 2E engines are now equipped with full authority digital engine control and the Helionix digital avionics suite has been augmented with a four-axis autopilot.