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Airbus Helicopters launches flight test campaign of its brand-new H160 helicopter

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Paris Air Show 2015
International Paris Air Show
15 - 21 June 2015
Paris - Le Bourget, France
 
 
 
Airbus Helicopters launches flight test campaign of its brand-new H160 helicopter
 
Airbus Helicopters' highly innovative H160 flew for the first time in Marignane on Saturday, 13 June, shortly after beginning its ground runs end of May. The aircraft flew for about 40 minutes in ground effect that allowed the flight test team to check the overall behavior of the aircraft and to verify the measurements, Airbus Helicopters announced today, June 18, 2015, at Paris Air Show 2015. eather flight tests planned for this summer. The second prototype performed its first power-on 12 June.
     
Airbus Helicopters' highly innovative H160 flew for the first time in Marignane on Saturday, 13 June, shortly after beginning its ground runs end of May. The aircraft flew for about 40 minutes in ground effect that allowed the flight test team to check the overall behavior of the aircraft and to verify the measurements, Airbus Helicopters announced today, June 18, 2015, at Paris Air Show 2015. eather flight tests planned for this summer. The second prototype performed its first power-on 12 June. Airbus Helicopters H160 utility helicopter
(Airbus Helicopters - Thierry Rostang)
     
"The first flight was very promising in terms of stability, vibrations, and sound levels,” said Olivier Gensse, the flight test pilot, upon landing the aircraft.

The flight test campaign has now been launched and the next flights will begin to open the flight envelope progressively. The aircraft already reached 130kts during the second flight on Wednesday.

"We are very proud that the H160 has reached another milestone on time,” said Bernard Fujarski, head of the H160 program. “The dedication of the team working on the program has paid off and we are all looking forward to the final development phase to bring this highly anticipated helicopter to the market."

In order to complete this final development phase and to ensure the H160's entry into service in 2018, Airbus Helicopters is relying on three dedicated prototypes and two helicopter zero integration test means. The first prototype will pursue its flight test campaign, including its first hot weather flight tests planned for this summer. The second prototype performed its first power-on 12 June.

     
Airbus Helicopters' highly innovative H160 flew for the first time in Marignane on Saturday, 13 June, shortly after beginning its ground runs end of May. The aircraft flew for about 40 minutes in ground effect that allowed the flight test team to check the overall behavior of the aircraft and to verify the measurements, Airbus Helicopters announced today, June 18, 2015, at Paris Air Show 2015. eather flight tests planned for this summer. The second prototype performed its first power-on 12 June. Airbus Helicopters H160 utility helicopter at Paris Air Show 2015
     
Aerodynamic innovations of the H160 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.