Three months after its introduction to the public at the Heli-Expo air show in Orlando, Florida, and following its first ground run on May 28, the Airbus Helicopters H160 has now successfully performed its first flight.
The news of the flight, which took place on June 13 in Marignane, was announced by Airbus Helicopters during a press conference held on June 16 at the 51st Paris Air Show.
The aircraft flew for about 40 minutes in ground effect that allowed the flight test team to check the overall behavior of the aircraft and to verify the measurements. “The first flight was very promising in terms of stability, vibrations, and sound levels,” said Olivier Gensse, the flight test pilot, upon landing the aircraft.
The flight test campaign has now been launched and the next flights will begin to open the flight envelope progressively. The aircraft already reached 130kts during the second flight on Wednesday.
“We are very proud that the H160 has reached another milestone on time,” said Bernard Fujarski, head of the H160 program. “The dedication of the team working on the program has paid off and we are all looking forward to the final development phase to bring this highly anticipated helicopter to the market.”
In order to complete this final development phase and to ensure the H160’s entry into service in 2018, Airbus Helicopters is relying on three dedicated prototypes and two helicopter zero integration test means.
The first prototype will pursue its flight test campaign, including its first hot weather flight tests planned for this summer. The second prototype performed its first power-on 12 June.
Airbus Helicopters hopes to introduce the H160 into service in 2018.