Airbus Helicopters has announced a new alternate gross weight (AGW) available on the latest version of the H135 family of helicopters. H135 helicopters with the new alternate gross weight benefit from a 120kg (265 lb) increased take-off weight and useful load. This increase can also be used to extend the range by up to 75 nm or the endurance by up to 40 minutes under standard conditions. The new AGW will be certified by EASA and FAA in 2020 and can be retrofitted on all H135s with Helionix.
The direct operational costs (DOC) and direct maintenance costs (DMC) of the H135 are maintained under the new AGW, with no reduction of part lifetimes or additional inspections. The new AGW will apply for visual and instrument flight rules (VFR and IFR).
To date, more than 1,300 helicopters of the H135 family are in operation around the globe with more than five million flight hours. More than 300 customers in 60 countries use helicopters from the H135 family for a wide range of missions including emergency medical services (EMS), law enforcement, corporate transport, offshore wind and military training.
Airbus has also announced a major performance increase to the H125 by making full use of the available power of Safran Helicopter Engines' Arriel 2D.
The aircraft's external and internal load lifting capabilities will increase by up to +140 kg, with a large part of it already available at low altitude and low external temperatures, while the hover ceiling OGE will be improved by more than 1,500 ft (up to 12,600 ft). These figures will be further increased when the H125 is equipped with the BLR Fast Fin tail rotor enhancement and stability system, resulting in a total additional gain of up to +190 kg of external and internal load lifting capabilities and the hover ceiling OGE being improved by +2,300 ft (up to 13,400 ft) compared to the current H125 performance.
This extra power is expected to be certified this summer and will be included as a standard feature on all new-built H125s at no price increase. A retrofit solution will be available for all VEMD-equipped H125s (AS350 B3e) by the end of this year and will only consist of a simple VEMD software upgrade.
“I am very happy to be presenting these new H125 features, which are the result of a continuous dialogue with our customers” declares Axel Aloccio, head of the intermediate single programme. “The extra power offered by the H125 raises the bar within the single engine helicopter market to reach levels never attained up to now by such platforms and confirms the superiority of the H125 in terms of payload and value for money. And our new options for the aerial work market segment will not only simplify our customer's daily missions, but more importantly, will further increase the safety of these very demanding operations.”