Airbus Helicopters continues to increase worldwide military deliveries and corporate aviation demand for luxury product lines
Airbus Helicopters announced on September 20th that the company had secured a further order of four H225M (previously EC725) multirole utility helicopters that will be supplied to Thailand’s Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF.) This follow-on order from RTAF brings the total helicopter order to twelve units as part of the Thai government’s fleet strengthening program that expects to see final delivery of all twelve helicopters completed by 2021. The four H225M helicopters will join six already delivered fleet of helicopters tasked with completing combat search and rescue missions, search and rescue flights and troop transport operations.
The RTAF H225M helicopters ordered will each arrive equipped with emergency flotation capability, fast roping attach points, a cargo sling system for long line, a high powered searchlight and an EO/IR system that the supplier was not specified for in the company’s press release. Airbus Helicopters stated that the Thai Air Force will also receive two H225Ms from its earlier order by end of 2018.
This latest contract will also cover on-site technical support and continuing airworthiness management organization services, fully supported by Airbus’ Thailand team.
“The H225Ms have served the Royal Thai Air Force well since the delivery of its first batch in 2015, and we are truly honored by this renewed order, underscoring their continued trust and confidence in our helicopters and the committed support to their fleet. With its proven versatility, reliability and endurance, we know that the H225 will continue to capably fulfill the most challenging missions. RTAF can count on our Thailand-based customer center for continued availability of the fleet,” said Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH,) Airbus’ dedicated private and business helicopter entity, also announced via company press release today that the company would again attend and exhibit during the 2018 Monaco Yacht Show. This year, ACH will showcase the company’s new ACH135 with Helionix for the first time on the rooftop of the Monaco Yacht Club.
Fitted with the company’s in-house ACH Line interior configuration, the updated, Helionix-equipped provides a technological leap forward for the light, twin-engine helicopter, offering concern-free flying ideal for marine, urban and wilderness environments according to published ACH marketing materials.
Aiming the look and feel of the luxury branded ACH H135, the company has aimed for an SUV-like balance between comfort and versatility, while in the front seat, the pilot is able to benefit from flying his charges using the latest from Airbus Helicopters, the proprietary Helionix system that provides improved situational awareness, a simpler flight management control interface and improved safety.
Features praised by pilots include an auto hover ‘pause’ button (ideal to buy the pilot time when faced with low visibility or busy environments), a ‘go-around’ button (the aircraft will automatically fly around and reposition itself on the best landing approach at the push of a button) and automated engine management (ensuring a smooth and safe flight even if one of the two engines fails).
Frederic Lemos, Head of Airbus Corporate Helicopters, said, “With approximately 300 helicopter-capable yachts worldwide, there are increasing requirements for more reliable, compact and versatile helicopters capable of transporting passengers and cargo in all environments. The addition of Helionix to the ACH135, which brings it in line with the already Helionix-equipped ACH145, ACH160, and ACH175, makes this carefree-handling aircraft, an ideal asset for yacht-based operations.”
Airbus has slowly been growing the ACH brand over the last several years as sales increase in the corporate and luxury market for their well-appointed high-end models of existing offerings to those wanting the extra touch of class the separate brand from parent company Airbus offers.