Airbus Unveils All-New H160 Helicopter


Airbus Helicopters presented its clean-sheet medium-class rotorcraft design, the H160, at Heli-Expo, in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday. The new design features two firsts — the largest-ever shrouded tail rotor, which is double-canted at 12-degree angles to enhance anti-torque control efficiency, and an all-new “biplane stabilizer” with a staggered placement of two dual-level, interconnected stabilizer surfaces. Both features provide improved performance and flight stability, the company said. First flight for the aircraft is expected later this year, with deliveries to start in 2018.

The H160 will cruise at 160 knots, can carry 12 passengers up to 120 nm, and has a maximum range of up to 450 nm. It’s the first ever fully composite civil helicopter, the company said, with a lightweight airframe that resists corrosion and fatigue. The integrated Helionix avionics suite was designed by Airbus. The payload lift, range and efficiency are suited for a wide variety of uses, including oil and gas operations, public services, air medical services, coast guard duties, commercial transport, private flying and business aviation, the company said. The aircraft is the first one to be branded with the Airbus Helicopters corporate identity, instead of Eurocopter. A full-scale mockup of the design is on display at Heli-Expo.