Airbus Helicopters says its new H145 helicopter is particularly suited to the local market as the company conducts a demonstration tour of aircraft over June and July.
Targets for the H145 – recently renamed from EC145 T2 – were expected to be EMS (emergency medical service) and police operations. The H145 is also being demonstrated to the Australian military during its month-long visit of 15 capital cities, regional centres and towns stretching from Melbourne to Far North Queensland and points in between.
Airbus Helicopters test pilot Diethelm Berndt said the H145 had the right size and the right power-to-weight ratio for Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) and police operations.
“That makes it attractive,” Berndt told reporters at Bankstown Airport on June 22. “There is nothing comparable on the market.”
“My prediction is you will see this as the standard HEMS and police helicopter in many parts of the world.”
A New Zealand-based customer accepted delivery of a H145 in April, the first delivery of the type in this part of the world.
Meanwhile, there were currently about 10 earlier model EC145s flying in Australia. Compared to the EC145 the H145 features a Fenestron shrouded tail rotor and twin Turbomeca Arrius 2E engines.
Airbus Helicopters senior sales promotion manager Christian Fanchini said the twin-engine H145 at maximum power was about 21 per cent more powerful than the EC145.
“It is really a very powerful aircraft, particularly useful for extreme conditions – altitude and hot temperatures,” Fanchini said.
“Today, we could say that this light twin-engine is the most powerful you can find to fly in these extreme conditions.”
Fanchini said Airbus Helicopters had booked about 150 orders for the H145, which was first certified by European regulators in April 2014 and the US Federal Aviation Administration in October 2014.
Military certification followed in May 2015, with German special forces the launch customer for the H145M.
Airbus Group Australia Pacific represents Airbus Helicopters in the region.