Norwegian air ambulance operator Norsk Luftambulanse AS (NOLAS) has become the first civil customer to receive an H135 equipped with the Helionix avionics suite. Six additional H135s with Helionix will be delivered to the operator in 2017 and 2018. In December 2016, the UK MoD became the first military customer to receive the H135 with this cockpit.
Following its successful bid for the national rotary wing air ambulance contract, NOLAS will operate all 12 Norwegian HEMS bases from June 2018, using the seven H135s along with eight H145s and two AW139s. All H135 helicopters will be equipped for 24/7 operations and are configured for single pilot IFR/night vision imaging system operations, with Aerolite interiors and the latest medical equipment. With an anesthesiologist, a pilot and a HEMS crew member on board, the operator will carry out at-the-scene medical work, as well as advanced intensive care transportation in Norway's demanding terrain.
“In demanding environments and under all kinds of weather challenges, it is great to have the support of the new technological developments that the Helionix suite can offer,” says NOLAS CEO Rune Midtgaard. “It reduces pilot workload, increases the safety of the operation and has the ability to reach patients in need of advanced medical support.”
The H135 obtained EASA certification for the avionics suite in November 2016. Designed by Airbus, the system offers operators increased mission flexibility and safety. The technology is already available on the H175 and H145. In addition to the four-axis autopilot, the Helionix cockpit layout helps to increase situational awareness. Designed with three large electronic displays on the H135, the cockpit is compatible with NVGs and includes a first limit indicator, which highlights appropriate engine instrument data.
“We are proud that NOLAS trusts our helicopter and the Helionix suite for its challenging missions,” says head of the H135 programme Martin Schneider. “The H135 is a market leader among light twin engine, multi-purpose helicopters. Traditional missions for this class include emergency medical services, law enforcement, VIP and business passenger transport, maintenance of industrial wind parks and military training.”
Airbus has delivered more than 1,250 H135s to customers around the globe and the type has logged more than four million flight hours.