Airbus Helicopters has announced a major performance increase on 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.
The H125 will also provide increased operational simplicity thanks to new options aiming to improve visibility and pilot awareness. All of them are to be showcased on the H125 at Airbus Helicopter’s booth: a more compact and simplified instrument panel that reduces its surface area by 40% and incorporates a Garmin G500H TXI touch screen; a remote FLI solution developed by California-based AKV Inc. which will allow to display the main VEMD engine parameters on a smartphone or a tablet via a Bluetooth connection, while keeping external loads in sight, and two additional upper windows greatly improving upward visibility. Show-goers will also see how the Maximum Pilot View Kit, provided by Swiss Rotors Services, boosts the precision and safety of aerial work operations by considerably increasing the field of view of pilots.
“I am very happy to be presenting these new H125 features, which are the result of a continuous dialogue with our customers” declared 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”.
With more than 4,000 helicopters in service with about 1,500 global customers, the H125 keeps leading the single engine helicopter market thanks to its high performance and multi-mission capacity. In the last 10 years 630 H125s have been delivered for aerial work, resulting in 74% market share. There are currently about 1,600 H125/AS350 helicopters dedicated to aerial work operations, having accumulated more than 10,6 Million flight hours.