Airbus Helicopters news by Heli-Expo 2018

Airbus Helicopters gains momentum with more new orders from Japanese operators.


Fleet expansion reinforces its market position in Japan.

Las Vegas, 27 February 2018 – Airbus Helicopters has secured new contracts for three helicopters from Japanese operators, following its successful start to the New Year with recent  contract announcements for one new H135 and an AS365 N3+.

With this new stream of orders, Airbus Helicopters has received orders for a total of five helicopters in the first quarter of 2018, reinforcing its market position in Japan.

The first contract was signed with existing customer Auto Panther, for one ACH130 featuring Airbus’ signature ‘Stylence by ACH’ luxury interiors, which offers a dynamic, sports car inspired interior design. The first in Japan to operate the ACH130, the company will use the helicopter for corporate VIP transportation in Kagoshima, south of Japan.

The second contract was secured from longstanding customer Noevir Aviation Inc., for one light single engine H125 from the popular Ecureuil family. The company has been operating several units of an earlier version of the H125, which have been serving its charter needs for the past three decades. Equipped with Airbus’ innovative glass cockpit suite, this new rotorcraft will join the current fleet for passenger transportation in the country.

The third contract was inked with Nakanihon Air Service, for a new light twin H135 helicopter. With this new order, the company’s H135 grows to an impressive fleet of 20, deployed for a variety of missions spanning helicopter emergency medical services and electronic news gathering.

“We are delighted at how our helicopters continue to play an important role across a spectrum of missions in Japan. These new orders speak of our customers’ trust in our products. It also underscores our strong in-country support for their fleet now and for more years to come,” said Olivier Tillier, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in Japan. “Japan is a very important market for Airbus Helicopters and we stay committed to creating greater value for our customers in this country.”

Currently leading the Japanese civil and parapublic helicopter market with more than 50% market share and a well-established value chain supporting its customers in the country, Airbus Helicopters plans to increase its position in tandem with the Japan’s projected fleet growth of 2% annually over the next 20 years.

North America regional helicopter training center.


Project to feature Level D flight simulators for Airbus H145 and H175, capacity to train thousands yearly.

Las Vegas, 27 February 2018 – Airbus Helicopters, Thales and Helisim have announced they will join forces to construct a new, state-of-the-art helicopter pilot and maintenance crew training

center in Texas. The Airbus Helicopters Training Center in North America will be located at the headquarters of Airbus Helicopters Inc. in Grand Prairie.

Helisim, a joint venture of Thales and Airbus Helicopters and a leader in helicopter training, will develop and operate the simulation center, which will include the first H145 and H175 Level

D simulators in North America. These Reality H Simulators built by Thales will enable pilot training for two of Airbus Helicopters’ newest, most high-tech civil helicopters which are now entering wide use in the Americas.

The initial investment is estimated to be about $40 million and the new facility will have the capacity for several thousand pilots and maintenance personnel a year to perform both introductory and recurrent training. It will be designed for expansion to allow the future installation of an H160 simulator once the helicopter model is certified and production is under way. It will also incorporate the existing training facilities of Airbus Helicopters Inc., including its H125/AS350 full flight simulator and H135/H145 flight training device.

“With this expansion, we will be able to support our customer’s needs for world class helicopter training in one convenient location,” said Christopher Emerson, President of Airbus Helicopters Inc. and head of the North America region. “Expanding our capabilities with H145 and H175 Level D simulators will allow customers to optimize their training programs and benefit from the expertise that we can provide onsite at our headquarters in the U.S.”

“When we first embarked on this partnership with Airbus, our primary goal was to ensure the next generation of helicopter pilots worked in an industry with the same safety record as those in the fixed wing market,” said Benoit Plantier, Thales Vice President, Training and Simulation.

“The quality and level of training Helisim offers to pilots in Europe has gone a long way to accomplish that goal. We are proud to continue this legacy in North America.”

“The opening of this new facility near Dallas represents a major international expansion of Helisim,” said Christian Cochini, CEO of Helisim. “Our 18 years of experience in simulation training for Airbus Helicopters’ wide range of aircraft, representing nearly 200,000 simulated flight hours, combined with AH Inc. expertise will allow us to offer safe and efficient training solutions for North American customers.”

Helicopter Travel Munich sign for four new H125s.


Expanding current fleet to 25 Airbus helicopters.

Las Vegas, 27 February 2018 – Airbus Helicopters and Helicopter Travel Munich (HTM) have signed an agreement at Heli-Expo for the purchase of four H125s, completing a fleet of 25 Airbus helicopters.

“We have selected the H125 for its superior performance especially in mountainous areas and hot climates” said Hans Ostler, CEO of HTM. “We are excited to put this helicopter into operation for a number of missions including passenger transport, aerial work, filming and photo shoots, and fire-fighting,” he added.

“We are proud that HTM has renewed their trust in Airbus Helicopters’ products since the delivery of the H145 in November last year” said Dennis Bernitz, Head of Sales Central Europe at Airbus Helicopters. “I am sure that HTM will appreciate the advantages of the new G500 glass cockpit that offers pilots with a highly visible and customisable instrument panel and the aircraft’s reduced maintenance costs thanks to recent modifications made to the maintenance plan” he added.

Helicopter Travel Munich is one of the largest helicopter companies in Germany with IFR and Offshore approval as well as its own flying school. HTM operates 25 helicopters at 6 locations, flying more than 5000 hour a year performing missions such as firefighting, heliskiing, offshore wind, cargo flights, aerial work, VIP flights, HEMS flights, film and photo shoots, as well as training flights for basic and advanced pilots.

With built-in manoeuvrability, excellent visibility and low vibrations levels in the cabin, the H125 has earned its reputation as a true multi-mission workhorse, becoming a common sight at heliports, hospital landing pads, police department operation centres and airports around the world. The H125’s elegant new cabin has a flat floor that can be quickly and easily reconfigured for various mission types, including aerial work, firefighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, and passenger transport.

Heliflite China orders 10 Airbus light helicopters and becomes official distributor in China.


Seven H125s and three H130s on order will support emerging commercial and HEMS markets.

Las Vegas, 27 February 2018 – Airbus Helicopters has signed with Heliflite China for an order of seven H125 and three H130 aircraft. The company, based in Xian, China, has also been accredited as an

official Airbus Helicopters distributor in the region, supporting Airbus’ growth in this rapidly developing market.

The light helicopters will be used for utility and helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) missions throughout China.

“Given the sheer size of the market and its potential in China, we are preparing for future growth by ensuring we will have the necessary resources available to support all of our operations in the country,” says Marie-Agnes Veve, Head of Airbus Helicopters in China.

“Heliflite China already has an established reputation for professionalism and integrity, and Airbus Helicopters is very happy to have them on board helping us promote and sell our products to customers.”

Heliflite China is a well-known figure in the helicopter market in China, having begun their distribution operations in 2002. They will now become part of the global Airbus Helicopters network, supporting Airbus to prepare for future growth by helping address new customers

operating small helicopter fleets in remote regions.

“We are proud to be an official distributer of Airbus products in China, where we expect to see a large increase in orders in the coming years,” said Du Li, President of Heliflite China.

“Airbus’ wide range of helicopters offers the right choice for any mission for customers in this emerging market. We are happy to be able to support this growth.”

The H125/H130 is the single-engine best-seller in the Chinese general aviation community, and represents the largest turbine helicopter fleet in China – making up nearly 50% of all light single engines in the country - with more than 125 aircraft from this family currently in operation.

Airbus Helicopters is the leader in the Chinese helicopter market with a market share of close to 40%. The helicopter industry has experienced approximately 20% annual growth in the country over the past five years and Airbus expects this trend to continue. Airbus supports its customers through 7 local offices and a Regional Customer Service Center, and is the first Western helicopter manufacturer to set up a final assembly line (FAL) in the country.

Metro Aviation places order for 25 Airbus EC145e helicopters to meet demand for lower-cost, twin-engine operations.


Development of IFR capabilities has enhanced aircraft’s appeal to operators.

Las Vegas, 27 February 2018 – Airbus Helicopters Inc. announced Tuesday that Metro Aviation Inc. had ordered an unprecedented 25 EC145e helicopters that it will place into service providing air medical transport and other aerial services. It is one of the larger commercial helicopter orders ever booked by the U.S. based company.

Metro was the first customer in the world for the lighter weight and lower cost version of the EC145 when it was launched by Airbus Helicopters in 2015, placing an initial order for six aircraft. The helicopter was launched initially only for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) use and Metro put it to work in air medical transport and utility markets.

Since that time Metro, working with Genesis Aerosystems has developed and received Federal Aviation Administration Supplemental Type Certificates for a VFR electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) and an autopilot and stability augmentation system for the EC145e. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) certification is expected this year.

“This order is the result of the years our company has invested in building and nurturing a great business relationship with the leadership of Metro Aviation and providing them with world-class aircraft and customer support,” said Christopher Emerson, President of Airbus Helicopters Inc.

“We look forward to working closely with Metro as they expand their business.”

Metro has identified a sizeable, untapped market for the EC145e helicopter. “The versatility and price point made it an attractive addition to a large number of rotary wing fleets, and we have put seven in service since committing to our first purchase in 2015,” said Metro Aviation President Mike Stanberry. “The EC145e model has proven to be a workhouse across various mission profiles, and we are excited about putting these new aircraft into service within our family of customers.”

Having developed STCs for the EFIS and autopilot systems, Metro has found significant interest for the lower cost EC145e from a diverse group of customers, including air medical, law enforcement, utility and other missions.

Airbus Helicopters will produce the EC145e at its final assembly plant in Columbus, Miss. where it also produces the UH-72A Lakota for the U.S. Army and the H125 commercial helicopter for the North American market. Metro will customize the aircraft for individual customers at its completion center in Shreveport, La.

The EC145e is a powerful, reliable and affordable light twin helicopter boasting a short delivery lead-time, excellent cost competitiveness, and increased useful payload. It retains the power, performance, and reliability of the EC145 and the same large cabin with clam-shell rear doors for easy and safe loading and unloading. The standard EC145e includes a single pilot VFR glass cockpit featuring the Garmin G500H and GTN 650 GPS and communication system. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 7,903 lbs.

Combining the well-known features of the EC145 with the benefits of a predefined configuration - complete with a dedicated equipment list – the EC145e is perfectly suited for law enforcement missions, air medical, utility, aerial work, firefighting, and passenger transport.

Airbus Helicopters Inc. is the leading provider of civil and commercial helicopters in the U.S. The company is based in Grand Prairie, Texas where it operates helicopter completion, paint, and MRO facilities, performs flight test and engineering support, and flight and maintenance training for customers. The Columbus, Miss. plant produces UH-72A Lakota helicopters for the U.S. Army and the H125 for the civil market.


Press release by Airbus Helicopters