Airbus Helicopters announced on July 28 the validation of the H160’s aeromechanical configuration – a crucial milestone that allows the program teams to confirm some key aspects of the twin-engine helicopter’s design and performance.
“Thanks to more than 200 hours accumulated in flight testing, and with the achievement of this formal program milestone, we have been able to confirm several key design assumptions and even exceed some of them against a real-life environment”, said Bernard Fujarski, senior vice president in charge of the H160 program.
“With the helicopter’s flight envelope now fully opened, we are confident that our next-generation helicopter will set new standards of flight experience for passengers and crews.”
During its ongoing flight test campaign, which was carried out with two prototypes at the company’s main site in Marignane, France, the H160 demonstrated exceptionally low vibration levels along with remarkable aircraft stability levels, setting new benchmarks in the field, Airbus Helicopters said.
“Vibration levels have been a key objective since the launch of program, and observed results give us confidence that the H160 will set new comfort standards for all missions segments, from EMS to passenger transport or private and business aviation. We can’t wait for our customers to experience this exceptional level of comfort themselves”, Fujarski added.
Next steps in the flight campaign will focus on hot weather trials, to take place over the summer, followed by continued performance testing of the Arrano engines, which are now installed in both prototypes. Cold weather tests will follow later in the year.
A third prototype will join the flight test program in 2017 to support the certification process ahead of the H160’s entry into service.
July 29, 2016