H160 helicopter proves performance in cold weather conditions


Airbus Helicopters has successfully completed the cold-weather testing for certification of the H160 helicopter in northern Finland.

The first serial production H160 was deployed to Rovaniemi in Lapland last month, where the test team benefited from a period of exceptionally low temperatures down to -37°C  (-35°F).

The main objective of this test campaign was to confirm the behaviour of the H160 in extremely cold conditions with its serial configuration. The H160 has already performed a cold weather test campaign in Canada with a prototype aircraft.

Operations took place from the base of Babcock Scandinavian AirAmbulance, which flies Airbus H145 helicopters for emergency medical services (EMS) customers in the region.

The campaign included over 20 hours of flight tests as well as a lengthy series of ground tests and a 13-hour flight from Airbus Helicopters’ Marignane base in southern France to the test site.

Babcock is the global launch customer for the H160 and will be the first operator to receive the new model.

The H160 is suitable for EMS operations because it features a wide-opening sliding door, roll-on stretcher capability and 360-degree access to the patient.

Airbus Helicopters head of H160 Program, Bernard Fujarski, said, “This was a highly productive test program. The colder the temperatures in which we can successfully fly and operate, the colder the temperatures in which our customers can carry out their work. We have been very happy with the freezing conditions in Lapland and overall with the behaviour of H160.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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