The third Airbus H160 prototype took off on maiden flight

The third Airbus H160 prototype took off on maiden flight

AH confirmed H160's maximum take-off weight (MTOW) as 5,670kg (12,500lb): PT3 is the first prototype equipped with a cabin interior and with a configuration closer to the serial production

The third Airbus Helicopters H160 prototype (PT3) performed its maiden flight. PT3, with its cabin interior configuration similar to that of a serial aircraft, will contribute to certification activities and flight testing to ensure the aircraft’s level of maturity ahead of entry into service in 2019. 

PT3 maiden flight news came short after Airbus Helicopters finally confirmed H160's maximum take-off weight (MTOW) as 5,670kg (12,500lb). The news has been unveiled at latest Helitech in London, in a brochure which also listed in an "extended gross weight" configuration of 6,050kg. Both options will be available from day one, with no operational penalties.

“The third prototype incorporates a significant amount of modifications based on feedback resulting from the first two years of testing by development, production and support teams” said Bernard Fujarski, Senior Vice President, Head of H160 programme.  “It plays an essential role in delivering a mature aircraft at entry into service and it is also closer to the serial definition with its interior lining and transport cabin configuration” he added. 



The first two prototypes have clocked more than 500 flight hours since the model’s maiden flight in June 2015. In that time, the flight envelope has already been fully tested and the domain has been opened. The remaining development activity, for example complementary hot weather testing, antennas, and optional equipment will be done using all three aircraft. 

The helicopter’s final assembly line in Marignane is in the final stages of preparation and will be ready to start serial production shortly. Customer support activities are being prepared in parallel thanks to the extensive involvement of maintenance teams, through the “operator zero campaign”, using the prototypes and test means to check and improve the maintenance plan, digital work cards and technical documentation, and tooling etc. ahead of actual operations.   

The first version to enter service in 2019 will be the passenger transport one – commercial air transport or Oil and Gas, followed by the emergency medical services (EMS) version.   

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