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Paris Air Show 2015: Airbus Helicopters announces first flight of its innovative H160 helicopter

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Paris Air Show 2015
International Paris Air Show
15 - 21 June 2015
Paris - Le Bourget, France
 
 
 
Paris Air Show 2015: Airbus Helicopters announces first flight of its innovative H160 helicopter
 
Three months after its introduction to the public at the Heli-Expo air show in Orlando, Florida, and following its first ground run on May 28, the H160 has now successfully performed its first flight. The news of the flight, which took place on June 13, was announced by the rotorcraft manufacturer during a press conference held on June 16 at the 51st Paris Air Show.
     
Three months after its introduction to the public at the Heli-Expo air show in Orlando, Florida, and following its first ground run on May 28, the H160 has now successfully performed its first flight. The news of the flight, which took place on June 13, was announced by the rotorcraft manufacturer during a press conference held on June 16 at the 51st Paris Air Show. Airbus Helicopters H160 medium utility helicopter performing its first flight on June 13, 2015
(Airbus Helicopters,Anthony Pecchi)
     
The Airbus Helicopters H160 was first revealed to the public in 2011, at which point it was referred to by company representatives by the designation X4 - a designation which implied it to be a follow-on from the Eurocopter X3, a high-speed hybrid helicopter technology demonstrator.

The H160 is the first aircraft to feature the innovation the Blue Edge five-bladed main rotor. This rotor incorporates a double-swept shape that serves to reduce the noise generation of blade-vortex interactions (BVI), a phenomenon which occurs when the blade impacts a vortex created at its tip; this results in a 3-4 dB noise reduction and raises the aircraft's effective payload by 100 kg (220 lb).
     
Three months after its introduction to the public at the Heli-Expo air show in Orlando, Florida, and following its first ground run on May 28, the H160 has now successfully performed its first flight. The news of the flight, which took place on June 13, was announced by the rotorcraft manufacturer during a press conference held on June 16 at the 51st Paris Air Show. Airbus Helicopters brand new H160 medium utility helicopter showcased at Paris Air Show 2015
     
Aerodynamic innovations include a biplane tailplane stabiliser for greater low speed stability, and a quieter canted fenestron (a feature which originated on the cancelled Boeing–Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche scout helicopter) which combined produce an extra 80 kg of lift. The H160 shall be powered by two Turbomeca Arrano turboshaft engines; a second engine, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210E, was originally intended to be offered as an alternative option, but this was eliminated due to insuffient power output and to reduce design complexity.

According to Airbus Helicopters officials, the H160 could be proposed for French armed forces' HIL (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger - Joint Light Helicopter) program. The HIL program has been launched to replace the Gazelle, Dauphin, Fennec helicopters currently in used in the French armed forces. The future joint platform will be used in combat missions, as well as training aircraft for the Tiger combat helicopter.