The Airbus H160 twin-engine utility helicopter is entering the oil and gas market as part of a support contract for Shell in the Gulf of Mexico. The deal includes four H160s, which will be flown by Louisiana-based offshore helicopter operator PHI. Airbus says it plans to provide one H160 to PHI and Shell ahead of final deliveries as part of a one-year-long route-proving program.
“We are proud to be playing a key role in the entry into service of the highly advanced H160 in the offshore sector and we look forward to bringing a step change in operating standards through the confidence building route-proving exercise agreed with our partners Airbus and Shell,” said Keith Mullett, PHI Aviation managing director.
The Safran Arrano 1A-powered H160 has a top speed of 150 knots, range of 475 NM and useful load of 4,409 pounds. It flew for the first time in June 2015 and received its type certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in July 2020. The H160 can carry up to 12 passengers and is equipped with the Airbus Helicopters-designed Helionix avionics system.