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Airbus H160 happily handles Finland’s freeze
Airbus' first H160 testing in Canada was performed with a prototype aircraft. The objective for its second campaign was to confirm the type's excellent behaviour with serial configuration in extremely cold conditions.
Airbus' H160 helicopter has successfully completed its certification programme of cold weather testing.

Airbus Helicopters has successfully completed its certification programme of cold-weather testing its latest H160 helicopter in northern Finland. The company deployed the first serial aircraft to Rovaniemi in Lapland in February, where the test team benefited from a period of exceptionally low temperatures, down to -37°C.

Operations took place from the base of Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance, which flies Airbus H145 helicopters for emergency medical services (EMS) customers in the region, including Finland's FinnHEMS and its regional government of Åland. The campaign included more than 20 hours of flight tests, as well as a lengthy series of ground tests and a 13-hour ferry flight from its Marignane base to the test site.

Babcock is the global launch customer for the H160 and will be the first operator to receive the new model. Its new fleet of H160s is destined for EMS and other critical service missions, starting in Europe and to be deployed progressively across Babcock bases worldwide.

The H160 suits EMS operations thanks to its wide-opening sliding door, roll-on stretcher capability and 360-degree access to the patient. It features exceptionally low sound levels in the cabin as well as low vibration levels, providing a beneficial environment for high intensity care of patients over long distances.

Airbus Helicopters head of H160 programme Bernard Fujarski says: “This was a highly productive test programme. The colder the temperatures in which we can successfully fly and operate, the colder the temperatures in which our customers can carry out their work. We have been very happy with the freezing conditions in Lapland and overall with the behaviour of H160.”

Airbus has more than 330 highly skilled employees in Finland, primarily in research and development, engineering and project management and notably in mission-critical communications. Its helicopters serve on EMS operations and with the Finnish border guard.

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