The first H135 configured for offshore hoisting duties has been delivered on the 30th of July to HTM Helicopter Travel Munich GmbH, marking a new milestone for the enhanced version of Airbus Helicopters’ lightweight rotorcraft previously known as the EC135 T3.
The H135 is well adapted to the full range of offshore operations, benefitting from the helicopter’s excellent performance, especially in OEI (one engine inoperative) conditions. It fulfills all requirements for offshore missions, with equipment that includes a rescue hoist, an external life raft system, Helicopter Emergency Egress Lighting, Automatically Deployable ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter), 3-Axis-Autopilot, Weather Radar, Underwater Locator Beacon and Emergency Floatation System certified for Sea State 6. In addition, its outstanding handling qualities, compact airframe size and small rotor diameter makes it the first choice in offshore wind business.
HTM will operate the H135 from its bases at Emden, Norden, Borkum and Helgoland, serving offshore windfarms in the German Bight. HTM has meanwhile contracted ten windfarms and customers like DONG, EWE, EON, Siemens, DOTI, ADWEN and Senvion. The H135 joins HTM’s already-extensive inventory of Airbus Helicopters-built rotorcraft that includes five EC135 P2+ versions already based along the North Sea coastline, with the company’s fleet growing to as many as eleven H135-family aircraft by early 2016.
“We look forward to the H135 joining our inventory. With its increased OEI performance and the additional equipment features offered it is the perfect complement to our existing fleet complying already with future offshore requirements. The EC135 fleet has proven its reliability and safety with a perfect availability static in offshore operation since 2009 having flown more than 6.000 hours with more than 25.000 hoist cycles” said Bernd Brucherseifer, Managing Director at HTM.
“As wind turbines gain an increasingly important role in renewable energy, the new H135 is ready to support highly cost-effective and efficient implementation, development and maintenance of offshore wind farms,” said Axel Humpert, Head of the H135 program at Airbus Helicopters. “It is ready to join other rotorcraft in our product lines that are proving their capabilities every day in flights for the offshore oil and gas industry around the world.”
Airbus Helicopters already is the market leader in the offshore heli-lift segment, building on more than 40 years’ experience in supplying rotorcraft for missions such as transportation to oil and gas platforms at increasingly long distances out to sea, in overwater search and rescue missions, for the transfer of sea pilots, and, more recently, the installation and maintenance of wind farms.
The H135 is part of Airbus Helicopters’ light-medium family of twin-engine rotorcraft that carried the EC135 designation in the company’s former numbering system. Among the H135 version’senhancements are two new turboshaft engine options with FADEC full authority digital engine controls: Turbomeca’s Arrius 2B2PLUS and Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW206BB, which provide additional payload and deliver best-in-class performance throughout the flight envelope – along with low fuel consumption. Other features are the use of a bearingless main rotor and Airbus Helicopters’ signature Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, along with a new lateral air intake.
The H135 expands HTM’s fleet, which consists of 21 helicopters (and 4 business jets) and also comprises the EC145, EC120, AS350, AS355 and BK 117 rotorcraft types from Airbus Helicopters and its predecessors.