RTE-STH, the helicopter division of French public utility company RTE, has commissioned Airbus Helicopters' UK design team to deliver a power line maintenance customisation kit for its H135s. The contract also requires customisation of an H135 allowing it to conduct the low-level, precision flying required for power line surveillance and maintenance operations. The EASA-certified kit, comprising aircraft modifications and the development of seven baskets and bespoke attachment devices, will allow RTE engineers direct access to carry out essential maintenance work on live power line cables.
The H135 customisation and power line maintenance mission fit is part of RTE's recent light twin engine fleet renewal. The baskets and bespoke aircraft solution, including anti-spin attachment devices and embedded aircraft sensors and pilot aids, will provide RTE with a dedicated high tension work package. Initial flight testing is now under way and delivery is expected in 2018.
Laurent Giolitti, RTE heliborne works department manager, says: “The state-of-the-art H135 and the bespoke mission systems developed by Airbus Helicopters' UK design team will enable RTE to continue its extensive live power line mainten-ance operations, while meeting the latest standards.”