Air Greenland selects Airbus' H225 for SAR duties

Air Greenland has selected Airbus Helicopters' H225 Super Puma to perform a search and rescue (SAR) role across the country and ultimately replacing the ageing Sikorsky S-61N fleet currently in service.

The firm contract announcement came on 3 October, 2019, for two "repurposed" H225 Super Pumas, formally used by the oil and gas industry. Other than the aircraft, the contract includes a maintenance and support package, alongside pilot and crew training. 

Olivier Michalon, Airbus Helicopters' Head of Europe Region, said: "At Airbus, we are proud that the deployment of the H225 will help ensure the safety of global maritime traffic transiting the Greenland-Iceland gap to and from the Arctic region."

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An Airbus Helicopters H225 SAR Super Puma in-flight over the sea at sunset. Airbus Helicopters.

The Super Puma is Airbus Helicopters' largest model, weighing in at roughly 11-tonnes and being powered by two French-made Turbomeca Makila 2A1 turbofan engines. The helicopter reaches speeds of up to 171mph (275km/h or 148kts), a service ceiling of 19,400ft (5,900m) and a total operational range of 463nmi (533mi/ 857km). 

It is operated in military and civil use with 20 countries worldwide and the total H225 fleet has accumulated more than 5.5 million flight hours in total.

The H225 is operated by two pilots and can be configured with up to 18 seats or six stretchers for SAR operations. It boasts an all-weather capability alongside rapid deployment time and strong endurance in various conditions.

Air Greenland's two S-61N helicopters, currently used in the role, have celebrated more than 50 years of operational service in the region and were slated for retirement in 2018. The inbound H225's are set to be delivered in the coming months.