The REV Ocean research and expedition vessel, the world's largest superyacht, has signed for an Airbus Helicopters ACH145 rotorcraft. The vessel, which is 600ft long, is the flagship of Norwegian businessman and philanthropist Kjell Inge Røkke's not-for-profit oceanic research foundation REV Ocean. It will carry one of the first examples of the new Airbus ACH145, with a five-blade rotor and increased MTOW.
The yacht, designed by Espen Oeino, has arrived in Norway from the VARD Tulcea shipyard in Romania and will accept the helicopter on board when the aircraft is delivered in 2021, while the helicopter, which can operate from either of two helidecks on the yacht, plays a key role in passenger transport and re-supply as well as its primary scientific mission.
Launched in 2019 and due for certification early in 2020, the new Airbus ACH145 has a bearingless five-blade rotor replacing the existing hingeless four-blade rotor, and provides 150kg additional useful load-carrying capability.
REV Ocean was established as a result of Røkke signing the Giving Pledge campaign in 2017, vowing to give away more than half of his fortune to philanthropic causes. Any profit generated is reinvested into the work programme for a healthier ocean.
As well as the ACH145, the vessel is equipped with scientific trawls, sonar systems, laboratories, auditorium and classrooms, moonpool, unmanned aerial vehicle, a remotely operated submarine with a 6,000 metre depth capacity and advanced communication equipment. It has a crew of up to 35 and can carry 60 scientists.
Head of Airbus Corporate Helicopters, Frederic Lemos says: “It is a true privilege to have our helicopter selected by REV Ocean for this prestigious project. We very much look forward to playing our role in advancing the important work being carried out by Kjell Inge Røkke and his team.”
REV Ocean CEO Nina Jensen adds: “We are delighted to be getting the ACH145 helicopter from Airbus. This will allow us to support our science operations and transport our passengers with the highest levels of safety, efficiency and environmental standards.”