An upgrade to the Airbus Helicopters H145’s Safran Arriel 1E2 engines will improve the light-twin helicopter’s one engine inoperative (OEI) hover performance giving pilots extra torque in the unlikely event of a single engine failure.
The upgrade, certified by the European Airworthiness Safety Agency (EASA) in March, will give H145 pilots around a 13 per cent increase in torque in OEI mode.
Airbus says during the first 30 seconds in an OEI case, the operating engine will automatically provide 149 per cent torque before its engine electronic control unit (EECU) automatically switches to a lower power level for a further two minutes.
Following the upgrade, the available torque now rises from 913Nm to 1,003Nm, which reflects an increase in torque from 130 per cent to 143 per cent within the two minute band.
“For this upgrade, Safran developed new EECU software and Airbus Helicopters tested the main gearbox with regards to durability [for] the increased one engine torque input,” Airbus Helicopters media representative Gregor Kursell told Australian Aviation.
“As Airbus thinks this is an important element for advanced competitiveness, for factory-delivered helicopters from approximately serial number 20166 onward this upgrade is free of charge.
“For already delivered helicopters there will be the need for a Safran field representative to upload the EECU software as a retrofit. Expenses [for this] activity is to be reimbursed by the customer, however from the Airbus side, the retrofit is free of charge as well.”
The increase in power reserves, which has also affords an increase in the helicopter’s useful load by 40 per cent, will be particularly useful for EMS operators during winching operations which are strictly regulated in terms of engine power and weight parameters.