Airbus Helicopters’ H145 demonstrates its ability for offshore missions

Thursday, 11 February, 2016 - 10:30
The flight test programme included landing on the transformer platform of alpha ventus. (Photo: Airbus Helicopters)
The flight test programme included landing on the transformer platform of alpha ventus. (Photo: Airbus Helicopters)

The twin-engine multipurpose helicopter H145 has successfully proved its operational capabilities for challenging offshore missions. During a two-day flight trial the H145 was tested in all the relevant fields of offshore operations.

During a two-day flight trial in late January the established offshore operators Wiking Helikopter Service GmbH and HTM Offshore were able to test the H145 in all the relevant fields of offshore operations. Both aviation companies collaborate closely to offer their customers a wide range of offshore services involving light and heavy helicopters. This concept is very appreciated in the offshore wind sector.

“Harbour pilots navigate ships safely in and out of German harbours. In most cases these pilots are brought onto the moving ships using the winch. This process requires the utmost attention of the helicopter’s pilot and crew,” says Lars Hilgert, Chief Flight Coordinator at Wiking. “We are very positively surprised with the intuitive Helionix cockpit of the H145 and its 4-axis autopilot with auto-hover function. These systems contribute to the helicopter’s high levels of safety in every scenario. At the same time the workload of the crew is reduced, allowing them to safely accomplish their mission even in the harshest of weathers,” he adds.

The rotorcraft is also well-suited for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS). “Our rescue helicopters are constantly on stand-by for offshore HEMS. Every unit is staffed with a doctor and an assistant and ready to embark on a mission in a minimum amount of time. The H145 would qualify perfectly for these missions, given that it features tremendous levels of performance and a spacious cabin”, explains Alexander von Plato, Managing Director at Wiking.

The flight test programme also included other missions such as approaching the wind park alpha ventus in the German Bight, landing on the transformer platform and hoisting technicians onto the offshore wind turbines. All while sustaining winds of up to 50 knots, the H145 delivered a convincing performance.

“With wind parks emerging increasingly further away from the coastline we are reliant on a versatile but also efficient helicopter fleet. The H145 would be an ideal addition to our eleven Airbus Helicopters H135, as it can carry more passengers and travel for longer distances. Despite its spacious cabin the main rotor has a very small diameter, making it perfectly suited for approaching wind turbines” says Bernd Brucherseifer, Managing Director at HTM Offshore. The company is specialised in the transfer of service personnel in the wind industry.

Katharina Garus / Airbus Helicopters

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