Airbus Updates on H160 Twin Turbine Helicopter, Partnerships

A partnership with longtime offshore operator PHI and news of collaboration with Shell on sustainable aviation fuel led the news from Airbus at the Helicopter Affiliation Global (HAI) Heli-Expo final 7 days in Dallas, Texas.

FAA Certification on H160 Imminent

Topping information on the certification entrance, Airbus Helicopters management declared that the corporation envisioned to obtain FAA certification on its H160 twin turbine model “in the coming months.”

The medium-utility H160’s powerplants—two Safran Arrano 1As—will be SAF suitable from the outset. 

“One participant can’t de-carbonize the entire sector—it will call for broad-scale collaboration with reliable associates,” explained Shell Americas aviation manager spokesman Steven Simpson. “The SAF-powered H160 will speed up decarbonization our functions and showcase Shell’s commitments to applying as nicely as manufacturing SAF.”

The H160 carries the next technical specs:

  • Proposed cruise speed: 138 kts
  • Max array with typical gasoline tanks: 475 nm
  • Max stamina with standard gas tanks: 4.5 hrs
  • Flight envelope: Minus 20C to ISA in addition-37C restricted to 50C
  • Max flight altitude: 20,000 ft
  • Hover ceiling (in floor effect): 9,300 ft
  • Capability: 1 or 2 pilots moreover up to 12 passengers
  • Max takeoff excess weight: 13,338 lbs
Leadership groups from Airbus, Shell and PHI rejoice the partnership on the H160 proving system slated to start this summer time. [Photo: Julie Boatman]

Shell Appears to be like to Make use of the H160 

Very last 12 months, Shell selected the H160 to combine into its operations in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of partner PHI, based in Lafayette, Louisiana. The 12 months-long exam will put the H160 through its paces prior to the design gaining FAA certification. 

The proving would “enable the operator and the closing client to familiarize by themselves with the type’s advanced features and mitigate the ordinary issues all-around entry into services,” in accordance to a enterprise release in February 2021.

In an update in the course of a briefing at Heli-Expo, Keith Mullett, handling director of PHI remarked on how the 8-month program would simulate precisely the situations the H160 would require to work in order to integrate into the PHI fleet. 

“The route proving program…is seriously an innovation and anything we’re pretty happy of as section of this partnership.” PHI will use the “best element of a year” to set the aircraft as a result of its paces and take a look at its instruction programs alongside the way.

“I feel it’s significant for us to comprehend that this has been a partnership of trust and innovation and functioning alongside one another to get there at the place we are today…It’s PHI’s intention to introduce SAF as component of the introduction of the H160 plane in the Gulf of Mexico.”

“This is a real move ahead for our industry: [the H160] is safer, it is cleaner, it is quieter than something which is out there ideal now.”

Deliveries in 2021 Rebound

Airbus joined a lot of other OEMs in equally the rotorcraft and fixed-wing room in marking elevated shipments in 2021, as described in the most up-to-date figures from the Basic Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) produced in February.

Among the the strongest winners in the French manufacturer’s portfolio: the H125/H125M,  together with the H145/H145M

  • H125/H125M: 84 units
  • H130: 15 units
  • H135/H135M: 15 units
  • H145/H145M: 44 units
  • H155: 1 device
  • H160: units
  • H175: 4 units
  • H215/H215M: 3 units
  • H225H225M: 14 models

The 324 shipments symbolize a 12 p.c advancement about 2020 figures, which totaled 287 in the company’s rotorcraft division, as very well as the delivery quantities reported in 2019, at 300 overall. Airbus marked $2.056 billion in full rotorcraft billings for 2021.

Much more on Partnerships with Safran, Shell

French motor and ingredient manufacturer Safran joined Airbus and Shell in continuing to encourage the utilization of sustainable aviation gas in its powerplants, in a variety of turbine helicopter models across the spectrum.

Specially, Safran expects to assist the use of a 50 percent mix of SAF in its Arrano 1A engines, which received FAA certification in July 2021.

For its element, Shell proposes that it will make 2 million tonnes of SAF by 2025, which is about 2 times the volume of today’s offered supply. The melt away amount [of this SAF blend] translates into 50 per cent significantly less CO2 emissions, in accordance to Simpson, talking at Heli-Expo. “That’s a strong phase in the correct way.”