AIRBUS HELICOPTERS ended the 2019 Heli-Expo exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia, on a high note, claiming orders for 43 helicopters from across its civil product range and from all over the world.
Sales recorded at Heli- Expo included an order for 21 helicopters from existing Airbus Helicopters’ customer Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH), comprised of a mix of H125 and H135 aircraft.
Nine of the new helicopters for AMGH had previously been confirmed in 2018 and deliveries are due to occur over three years, beginning in 2019.
AMGH currently operates a fleet of over 80 Airbus helicopters and is part of the Global Medical Response (GMR) transportation company, which boasts 306 helicopters and 100 fixed-wing aircraft.
A further order announced at Heli- Expo, was the selection of the H175 helicopter by the Rescue and Salvage Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Transport. The organisation has ordered an initial two aircraft, to be configured for search and rescue operations, in a deal announced on March 6, 2019.
Airbus Helicopters also enjoyed success at the single-engine end of the market, with an order for one H125 helicopter from Forest Helicopters Inc of Canada also announced on March 6, 2019. The helicopter will be acquired via Airbus Helicopters Canada and will be used for a range of operations, including diamond drill support, powerline maintenance, fire suppression, wildlife services, airborne geophysics and precision aerial construction.
The European manufacturer also unveiled a new variant of its popular H145 twin-engine helicopter, fitted with a five-blade main rotor at the event.
Announced on March 4, 2019, the new H145 will be capable of lifting an additional 150kg (331lb) of payload, while allowing an increase in maximum take-off weight to 3,800kg (8,377lb).
European Aviation Safety Agency certification is planned to occur in early 2020, with first deliveries later in that year.
Swiss Air-Rescue Rega became the launch customer for the new variant on March 5, 2019, with a decision to retrofit its fleet of seven H145s to the five-bladed configuration. Six of the seven helicopters have already been delivered, with the final aircraft due to be handed over in May 2019.
Also, on March 5, 2019, Airbus Helicopters announced that the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior has amended its order for eight of out of ten H145s to take advantage of the new variant.