Airbus Helicopters has announced that it delivered the first production example of its new-generation H160 multimission civil helicopter to All Nippon Helicopter (ANH) in Japan on Friday. The aircraft was handed over at the Airbus Helicopters facility in Kobe, and will be employed in the electronic news gathering role.
“It is an honour to have ANH as our very first H160 operator,” highlighted Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even. “I would like to thank ANH for their continued trust and confidence in our helicopters. I’m also very proud of the hard work and dedication of our teams in France and Japan in preparation of the aircraft delivery. I can’t wait to see this next-generation helicopter flying the skies of Japan, playing a key role in the country’s electronic news gathering market.”
“ANH is excited to be the first in the world to receive this state-of-the-art H160 helicopter to support our electronic news gathering missions,” affirmed ANH president Jun Yanagawa. “The electronic news gathering industry is changing rapidly, and we are happy to have the perfect helicopter for our operations, becoming the leading workhorse in our Airbus fleet.”
Flight training for ANH pilots will now take place, and the aircraft will also be fitted with specialised electronic news gathering equipment. The H160 will enter operational service next year.
ANH already operates ten Airbus Helicopters machines, in the form of five AS365 and five H135s. The H160 was certified by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau in May this year, following the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, which granted certification in July last year. (The Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency awarded certification to the H160 in September this year; Airbus Helicopters has a subsidiary manufacturing company, Helibras, in the South American country).
The H160 is a twin-engined medium helicopter, with a range of 475 nautical miles and capable of reaching a speed of 150 knots (nautical miles per hour). With a maximum take-off weight of 6 050 kg, it can carry one or two pilots and up to 12 passengers. It has been designed to undertake a wide variety of missions, including personnel transport for offshore hydrocarbon production platforms, emergency medical services, executive transport, private aviation and public services operations. A military version, the H160M, is under development for the French armed forces.