Airbus has delivered its first five-blade ACH145 helicopter to New Zealand.
The aircraft is the latest variant of the H145 that features a smaller rotor diameter to allow it to operate in more confined areas, alongside a 150 kilogram load increase.
Launch customer Advanced Flight said it was “quite a process” to get the helicopter during the pandemic but that the result was exceptional.
“It was a great pleasure to once again work with the teams from Airbus Helicopters in Germany and Australia to get this aircraft delivered to New Zealand in very difficult worldwide circumstances,” said a spokesperson for the company.
Advanced Flight specialises in VIP charter. Based in Auckland, it serves some of the North Island’s most exclusive lodges, retreats and golf courses, and offers excursions.
The business has a relationship with Airbus stretching back 20 years and operates one H125, six H130s and one H145.
Head of Airbus Corporate Helicopters, Frederic Lemos, said, “We greatly appreciate the loyalty of Advanced Flight over many years and we thank them for the very useful input they provided during the development of the new ACH145. It’s helped make the new ACH145 what it is today – the best helicopter in its class.”
Last year, Australian Aviation reported how the WA Police have become the first Australian customer to buy the five-bladed H145, which features a Fenestron shrouded tail rotor and twin Safran Helicopter Arrius 2E engines.
Its variant features a Fenestron shrouded tail rotor and twin Safran Helicopter Arrius 2E engines.
Meanwhile, in 2019, Airbus delivered two H145 helicopters for the New Zealand market that were specially configured for emergency medical services.
The model 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 military variant designated as the H145M.