Part 4: to Yangon, Bangkok, Hanoi, attempting Macau
After landing, you refuel. It will not only be easier to start early the next day, but it will also lower the condensation in the fuel tank.
The aircraft is manned with 3 crew members: a pilot, co-pilot, and a flight engineer. The flight engineer is usually not necessary, but regarding the duration of the journey, his presence is comforting.
Unfortunately, the visa was not ready to permit the entrance into the Chinese airspace. The aircraft then had to fly back and spend the night in Macau…
Part 5: from Da Nang (Vietnam) to Macau (China)
After a 15-day journey covering a distance of 13908 km (7510 nautical miles) in a total flight time of 66 hours, this EC225, the fourth in a series of seven ordered in 2011, was delivered on time to its Chinese customer.
July 07th, 2015. Airbus Helicopters presents its brand new prototype of a modified H135, featuring extremely low noise in flight. A reduction of no less than 10 EPNdB (perceived noise), corresponding to a reduction by 90 percent of the noise of a standard H135 helicopter. (More information on icao.int, wikipedia.org/EPNdB, or wikipedia.org/Loudness. To refresh your logarithmic knowledge on the dB, check this.)
The aircraft displays an unusual shape to those familiar with the product family: T-tail horizontal stabilizer, new rotor blades…
The blades are already known from the H160 and the Bluecopter Dauphin. They result from a research programs in cooperation with the french ONERA and the german DLR. The tail rotor blades are shaped as waves and result in a barely noticeable noise in flight. Only the Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 PLUS turbine is left with what seems to be a normal installation. Now, the noise emission of the engines feels very loud compared to the dramatic improvement of the blades!
During cruise flight, Airbus claims to shut off one engine, reducing the consumption and the carbon dioxyde emissions. Of course, safety measures may ensure rapid power-up in case of need, if not urgency.
With this display, Airbus Helicopters sets a new standard of low noise emissions for the helicopter industry.
The green and blue paint has obviously been inspired by the Bavarian country. While awaiting for the flight show, blue skies and green grass were present. With QNH 1013 and more than 30°C at 1300 ft terrain altitude, ISA+15°C was easily demonstrated.
The aircraft is actually not brand new. The structure is the first prototype (S001) of the EC135 T, which first flew in 1994. The fuselage can be noticed on this early photo.
Maybe you will have noticed the small drawing on the pilot door: what is this cartoon? The green witch, die grüne Hexe in German, was probably inspired by the callsign D-HEEX. Does it go further and compare to the Greenwich meridian? Does she want to set a new reference?
Looking carefully at the vertical tail fin, you will notice a rudder. Is it the same tail fin rudder as the H160?
Presentation video by Airbus Helicopters:
October 2nd, 2014: the SKYe SH09 took off for the first time.
Marenco SwissHelicopter then released another video on their Facebook feed, providing additional views of their aircraft. They obviously did the best to improve the outside visibility of the piloting crew.
And a first video of the first flight:
Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopters, Turkish Aerospace, Russian Helicopters… The 2015 edition of the Paris Air Show was far from being dedicated to the sole helicopters, but several manufacturers were there on the display.
The French Army is proud of the NH90 TTH, used in operation in Africa and middle east.
Bell displayed their 429 WLG and 407 GX. Many thanks to Gabriel and his explanations about the piloting interface!
The US forces displayed a strong presence.
Airbus Group had a huge display, but no access. You could only watch from afar.
The X3 is for loan at the Air and Space Museum in Le Bourget.
Russian Helicopters could not bring any real helicopter.
The Turkish industry presents the Atak helicopter.
The French Navy with the Caiman, NH90 NFH.
Parrot displayed the eXom, used for close observation and inspection of buildings.
Parrot made their BeBop dance together 🙂
Stable, extremely easy, barely any vibrations, smooth like a flying carpet. The first words of the pilot after the landing are very optimistic and encouraging.
The model H160 by Airbus Helicopters, previously called prototype X4, made its maiden flight on Saturday 13th, June, at the main plant in Marignane, southern France. With 24°C and 5 kt of wind, the weather was rather nice.
With the introduction of many new technologies, everyone tries to hunt for the hints, and we will give it a try as well.
First, unusual control surfaces appeared, such as a rudder on the tail fin. The rudder can be seen on the photo in forward flight below:
However, what appears to be a separate piece on the lower part of the horizontal stabilator is fixed (B. Fujarski in “4 Rotors”, issue of Summer 2015). We can assume that it allows to use more power for the main rotor in fast forward flight, while the anti-torque is ensured by the huge tail fin instead of the fenestron.
With 6 metric tons MTOW, the H160 is slightly heavier than the H155 (4,5 t) and completes the product range, closing the gap under the H175.
The helicopter is powered with 2 Arrano 1A, newly developped by the company Turbomeca. However, it seems that the gear box stays the same as for the H155. The rotor blades are, of course, brand new. They were introduced by Eurocopter with the programme “Blue Edge” during the year 2010.
These rotor blades were later observed on a modified H135 in Germany.
Another curious feature is located on the top of the tail, in front of the strobe light.
Finally, the canted fenestron will provide better support for a correct weight and balance, compensating the heavy tail that might be pushing the center of gravity to the rear.
The video below displays the second test flight, where the speed of 130 kt was reached.
Let’s wait now for more flights and even greater speeds!
End of 2013, Airbus Helicopters delivered a H225 (formerly EC225) to the Chinese company COHC. The following movies tell the adventure.
Temporarily designated F-WWOA, later B-7151, the french helicopter was conveyed to China by Jean-Charles (pilot), Gérard (pilot) and Marc (mechanic) via Greece, Oman and India.
Spoiler: the flight ends well. At 11:00 a.m. on November 20, an EC225 LP helicopter of China’s CITIC Offshore Helicopter Company (COHC), registration number B-7151, arrived at Shenzhen Nantou Helicopter Airport from Macau, which is the 3rd EC225 introduced by COHC this year.
All pictures are extract from the movies, copyright Airbus Helicopters
Part 1: From Marignane to Greece and Crete
They took off November 6th in the early morning, LFML (Marseille, France), good weather. Cruise ground speed: 166 kt, slightly more than 300 km/h.
In this part, you will enjoy views of the Mediterranean coast, how you prepare the mooring of the aircraft for the night, and what internal auxiliary fuel tanks look like.
When you buy a helicopter, you can generally have 3 possibilities to get it delivered:
- by plane, usually an Antonov 124, which is quick and the helicopter arrives almost ready to fly, but expensive
- by ship, much cheaper than by plane, but very long
- by conveying, where the helicopter flies from the manufacturing plant in Marignane to the location of the customer
Part 2: From Crete to Oman
Via Egypt and Saudi Arabia, you will discover the maritime arabian oil fields, how to park in a tight spot, and the importance of the last inspection of the aircraft at the end of the day.
Part 3: From Oman to India
When your aircraft spends the night alone without any surveillance, you want to make sure that nobody entered your aircraft.
With the weather radar in search mode, you will see not only the coast, but also ships and other obstacles.
After the flight, you need to refuel, organize the electric power generator for the night, check in at the customs, find your hotel!
Next in Burma!
November 2014 –
After delivery in September this year, the German rescue company ADAC proceeded with their first rescue winch operations training on the EC145 T2. The training took place in the Alps, southern Bavaria. Several teams enjoyed the large cabin suitable for 10 crew members with their full rescue gear. The aircraft is equipped with a folding rescue winch over the cabin side door.
All ADAC helicopters come with a yellow livery and the callsign “Christoph”. They are famous throughout all Germany, and air traffic controllers do their best to provide them with the fastest and safest flight routes.
Enhancements incorporated in the T2 version of the 4-metric-ton category EC145 include new dual-FADEC Arriel 2E engines and the company’s signature Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, along with upgraded main and new tail rotor gear boxes, and an advanced cockpit that uses Airbus Helicopter’s innovative Helionix® digital avionics suite with 4-axis autopilot.
The first EC145 T2 was delivered to another German rescue company, DRF Luftrettung, in July 2014.
More photos are available on airbushelicopters.com
The museum actually covers only the italian side of the company, founded by Giovanni Agusta and directed by the Agusta family since the beginning of the 20th century. While visiting the museum, you would discover that the Agusta family did not build only aircraft, but also motorbikes. Nevertheless, most of the museum displays real helicopters, models and various parts (vertical stabilizer of an AB609, main gear box of an AW101…). Agusta built original helicopters as well as types under license, mostly from Bell.
If you have the opportunity, go and have a look, it is worth your time.
More information: www.museoagusta.it