In a statement made on 19 October, the Airbus Helicopters announced that company will showcase the versatile and market-leading H135 aircraft as the future training helicopter for the U.S. Navy at the Naval Helicopter Association’s Fleet Fly-in at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Pensacola, Florida from October 22-26.
“Airbus Helicopters is convinced the H135 is the best solution to prepare the next generation of U.S. Navy pilots for decades to come, both technically and economically,” said Chris Emerson, President of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and Head of the North America region. “We look forward to demonstrating why this aircraft is the best solution for the Navy’s helicopter training needs.”
Airbus pilots will conduct orientation flights with U.S. Navy pilots and other stakeholders to demonstrate the H135’s capabilities at the October fleet fly-in.
Equipped with the most advanced technologies available like 4-axis autopilot and One Engine Inoperable (OEI) training mode, the FAA Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Certified H135 provides future aviators with an ideal platform for training missions, a critical requirement for the Navy as it trains its pilots over water and in reduced visibility.
“As a twin-engine helicopter, the H135 provides a training environment most similar to the Navy’s warfighting rotorcraft fleet, creating opportunities for cost and operational efficiencies compared to a single-engine aircraft,” said Scott Tumpak, vice president of military programs at Airbus Helicopters, Inc.
With its maneuverability, cockpit visibility, advanced safety features, endurance, and best-value performance attributes, the H135 is the preeminent military training helicopter in the world. More than 130 units are providing training for military pilots in 13 countries, including Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan.
The H135 has executed over 300,000 military training flight hours. Globally, the H135 operates in more than 60 countries and has flown more than 4.8 million hours.
The H135 boasts the Airbus-developed, state-of-the-art Helionix avionics package designed by pilots specifically for helicopters. The H135’s advanced cockpit design improves pilots’ situational awareness while reducing workload, which enhances safety. The high-set main rotor and Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor contribute to improved operational safety.
Airbus produces the U.S. Army’s primary training helicopters, the twin-engine UH-72A Lakota. Since contract award in 2006, Airbus has delivered 431 Lakotas on time, on cost and on quality. Also, the Lakota is the primary trainer aircraft for the Navy’s Advanced Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Md.
The H135 trainers for the Navy will be produced at the company’s facility in Columbus, Miss., where the Lakota is manufactured. The Columbus workforce is comprised of more than 40 percent U.S. military veterans.
“A multi-mission and economical workhorse, the H135 is the right tool to support U.S. Navy initial pilot training. Airbus’ global success in delivering rotary wing training platforms is recognized worldwide,” Tumpak added.