Kawasaki Heavy Industries has delivered an H145/BK117 D-3 helicopter to Japan-based rotary operator Central Helicopter Service. This is the second D-3 to be delivered to the same company, and as with the first, it is intended for use in emergency medical services. Kawasaki has delivered six D-3s so far.
The D-3 is an improved version of the former D-2 model, and inherits the traditional advantages of the BK117 series such as large cabin space with a full flat floor, versatile and large rear clam shell doors, improved high-altitude hovering performance, lower noise and modern avionics. Its performance is improved by the adoption of features such as the latest five-blade main rotor system and:
- an increase in useful load weight by approximately 150 kg: MTOW has been increased by approximately 100 kg and the total empty weight has been reduced by approximately 50kg, increasing the useful load of the D-3 by approximately 150 kg;
- reduction of maintenance period by around half through a combination of fewer inspection items and intervals, and the adoption of a modern, easy to maintain main rotor system.
The BK117 is a medium-sized, twin engine helicopter developed jointly with Airbus Helicopters and is used for various purposes including emergency medical services, firefighting, disaster relief, law enforcement, broadcasting, and personnel and cargo transport. Following delivery of the first model in 1983, this helicopter has been continually improved over the years, and thanks to the aircraft's outstanding technological strengths and high reliability, Kawasaki has successfully delivered 189 units and more than 1,700 worldwide with deliveries of Airbus Helicopters combined.
Kawasaki will continue to improve the BK117 helicopter, including the development of new optional equipment for various applications.