A Chinese consortium of three companies has confirmed to buy a whopping 100 H135 light rotary wing from Airbus Helicopters, the European manufacturer announced on 13 June 2016.
Hereby China Aviation Supplies Holding Company, Qingdao United General Aviation Industrial Development Company and CITIC Offshore Helicopter Co. Ltd jointly become the first Chinese customer for the Chinese produced version of the type.
The hundred choppers will roll off the final assembly line in Qingdao in the Shandong province of China, after the plant wil be opened in 2018. The deal was suspected for some time, as all parties involved already signed a so-called letter of intent last year.
The H135 deal will give the Qingdao plant work for at least a decade, meaning Airbus wishes to produce at least 10 machines every year. Airbus Helicopters aims at 600 H135s and follow-up versions produced in China by 2038.
Monacair has received the final of six Airbus Helicopters H130, completing the order signed in September 2015.
All rotary wing is used for regular flight services between Monaco Heliport and Nice International Airport in France. Monacair started this shuttle service in January this year after taking delivery of their first H130. Since then, the rotary wing airline sold 15,000 tickets.
For those in a hurry or having the money for it, the heliservice of Monacair reduces the travelling time between Monaco and Nice from more than half an hour to only 7 minutes. With the entire fleet of six H130s in service, delivered in only 5 months, Monacair will now be able to generate 40 rotations per day.
Airbus Helicopters included the cargo pod on Monacair’s H130s, increasing the luggage capacity by 20 percent. The airline manages a fleet of 20 helicopters, while Monaco Heliport only has 8 landing spots. There are now airfields for fixed wing in the small European state of only (!) 2 square kilometers, which more than 30,000 people call home.
Airbus Helicopters has been selected to supply a fleet of H135 and H145 helicopter for military helicopter pilot training in the UK, it was announced on Friday 20 May. The contract, worth 500 million GBP over 17 years, will see Airbus Helicopters deliver the helicopters and an integrated support solution over the course of 18 months, ready to start training in April 2018.
Over the last 35 years, all UK military helicopter pilots have been trained on Airbus Helicopters, initially with the Gazelle and subsequently with the H125 ‘Squirrel’. From 2018 onwards, the new H135 and H145 choppers will prepare 121 pilots and 99 rear crew per year, coming from both the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.
The helicopters are already in use as military training assets in the US, Australia and Germany among others. The H135 for the UK will be first to be equipped with Helionix, Airbus Helicopters’ advanced avionics kit which increases performance and improves safety.
Despite recommendations of manufacturer Airbus Helicopters not to keep the fleet on the ground, the authorities in Norway have prohibited any flights with EC225LP and AS332L2 Super Puma helicopters just before the weekend.
The move comes after initial findings of the investigation of the crash of a CHC Helikopter Service Super Puma on 29 April. The chopper – flying for Statoil’s offshore activities – was on route from Gullfaks B in the North Sea to Bergen Airport in Flesland, Norway. Just when it reached land the main rotor separated from the chopper, with all 13 on board killed when the rest of the aircraft plummeted to a small peninsula.
Also the United Kingdom has limited the flight ops with the Super Puma. Passenger traffic is not allowed, but search and rescue activities are with both the EC225LP and the AS332LP.
When it comes to offshore activities in the North Sea, the Sikorsky S-92 is now the only main workhorse left in action. But since the oil crisis makes for less activities, Norwegian authorities think the business will be fine.
Airbus Helicopters on Friday 29 April handed over the first two H145M multi role helicopters to the Royal Thai Navy. The helicopters – five in total – will enter service in Thailand at the end of 2016 following initial pilot training Germany. The Royal Thai Army has also ordered the type.
The H145M is the military version of the civil H145 and an be used for a wide range of military operations including naval, utility, reconnaissance, search and rescue, medical evacuation and armed scout. The Royal Thai Navy helos are equipped with Multi-Purpose Pylons incl. aerodynamic fairings, cargo hooks, hoists, HF system for SAR operations, weather radar, internal long range fuel tank system and fixed provisions for future special operations upgrade.
Thailand was the second nation to order the H145M, following in the footsteps of Germany. The German Special Forces will receive 15 of these helicopters in a custom configuration.
The two H145M helicopters now delivered to Thailand, will stay in Germany for pilot training at Airbus Helicopters’ Training Academy. A third helicopter will b delivered soon. All helicopters are scheduled for delivery in Thailand by September this year.