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2016-2020

2016

First flight of the H160 PT2.

27 January:?The H160’s second prototype takes off from Marignane, France, kicking off a busy 2016 for Airbus’ medium-sized helicopter as it pursues its flight test program with two prototypes.

Airbus Helicopters selected by Ascent as the Aircraft Service Provider for the UK’s Military Flying Training System.

20 May:?Airbus Helicopters in the UK is selected by Ascent as the Aircraft Service Provider for the UK's Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS). The contract, worth £500 million over 17 years, will see Airbus Helicopters deliver aircraft and an integrated support solution over the course of 18 months, ready to start training in April 2018. This will involve the manufacture of aircraft in addition to developing the support infrastructure and training initial crews and maintenance personnel.

The consortium’s order will lead to assembly of the H135 in China.

13 June:?A Chinese consortium composed of China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS), Qingdao United General Aviation Industrial development Company (Qingdao United) and CITIC Offshore Helicopter Co. Ltd (COHC) orders 100 H135 light-twin helicopters, becoming China's first customer to form an industrial partnership to launch a H135 final assembly line (FAL) in Qingdao, Shandong province. This is an important step forward, fulfilling the commitment of purchasing 100 H135s signed in a Letter of Intent (LOI) last year.

Airbus Helicopters’ VIP version of the H175.

30 June:?Airbus Helicopters delivers the first VIP version of the H175, the company's new medium class twin-engine helicopter, which entered service in 2014 for offshore transportation.

The H225M Caracal multirole utility helicopter is ordered by the Kuwait Ministry of Defence.

9 August:?The Kuwait Ministry of Defense orders 30 H225M Caracal helicopters, as well as an associated support and services package.

Delivery of the first two NH90 to the Spanish Army.

14 September:?Spanish Army takes delivery of first NH90s, with the Directorate General of Armament and Equipment (DGAM) completing transfer of the first two NH90 tactical transport helicopters from the Airbus Helicopters plant in Albacete to the Spanish Army.

Delivery of the first AS565 MBe Panther to the Mexican Navy.

28 September:?The Mexican Navy receives the first of 10 AS565 MBe Panther helicopters it purchased in 2024, becoming the first customer in the world to receive the new version of this multi-role, medium-class military rotorcraft. The Navy will receive three other units before the end of the year, and the remaining six by early 2018.

2017

The French Defence Minister announced the choice of H160 for France’s Joint Helicopter replacement programme.

3 March: The H160 has been selected as the basis for France’s Joint Helicopter replacement programme (Helicoptères Interarmées Légers – HIL).?

First autonomous flight trials of a VSR700 Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) demonstrator.

19 June:?Airbus Helicopters started autonomous flight trials of a VSR700 Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) demonstrator, paving the way for a first flight of the actual VSR700 prototype in 2018.??

31 August: The H145M performed its first flight with a complete HForce weapon system in Donauw?rth. Thanks to this modular weapon system designed by Airbus, the H145M can be equipped with all kind of guided and ballistic armaments such as missiles and laser guided rockets, guns, machine guns and rockets.?

H135 equipped with Helionix.

4 September: The Norwegian air ambulance operator Norsk Luftambulanse AS (NOLAS) is the first civil customer to receive an H135 equipped with Helionix.??

First flight of the H160 PT3 on 13 October, 2017.

13 October:?The third H160 prototype (PT3) performed its maiden flight. PT3 with its cabin interior configuration similar to that of a serial aircraft will contribute to certification activities and flight testing.?

A German Navy NH90 second prototype landing after a successful first flight

24 November:?The second prototype of the NH90 Sea Lion commissioned by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support lifted off from Donauw?rth site for its maiden flight.?

CityAirbus

19 December: The City Airbus program has reached another milestone: the completion and "power on" of the "iron bird" ground test facility in Taufkirchen, Germany.??

The DGA has awarded a contract to the Naval Group and Airbus Helicopters consortium covering de-risking studies for VSR700.

29 December:?The DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement) has awarded a contract for technology development in the field of rotary-wing drones to the Naval Group and Airbus Helicopters consortium. The contract covers de-risking studies ahead of construction of a future tactical helicopter drone demonstrator (VSR700 program) aboard warships.

2018

Skyways project

8 February:??Skyways, Airbus’ unmanned aerial vehicle designed for autonomous parcel deliveries, made its first flight demonstration, validating its automatic loading and unloading capabilities.

H160 Infographic

1 March:?Babcock became the global launch customer for the H160 after signing a five year frame agreement for the purchase of a fleet of H160s. This fleet of H160s is destined for EMS and other critical services missions starting in Europe and to be deployed progressively across Babcock’s bases worldwide.?

Bruno Even Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

1 April:?Airbus appointed Bruno Even, 49, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Helicopters. He will report to Airbus CEO Tom Enders and join the company’s Executive Committee.

Fenestron H160

12 April: Airbus celebrated the 50th anniversary of one of Airbus Helicopters’ most recognizable innovations: the Fenestron.

First H175 in public services configuration

18 June: Hong Kong based Government Flying Service (GFS) received three H175s in public services configuration, becoming the world’s first operator of this new variant which enlarges the H175 mission capacity to search and rescue (SAR), emergency medical services, law enforcement, firefighting as well as land and maritime border control operations.

The maiden flight of the LCH (Light Civil Helicopter)

24 July:?The maiden flight of the LCH (Light Civil Helicopter) first prototype in Marignane marked a major milestone, celebrating three years of close cooperation between Airbus and KAI (Korean Aerospace Industries).?

25 July:?The last German Tiger of the series production was delivered with UHT 1070. This ends the Donauw?rth series production of Tiger support helicopters that began in 1999.

The first serial H160

14 December: The first serial?H160?performed a flight demonstration on the 17 December in front of the H160 team in an end-of-the-year celebration of the programme’s achievements in 2018. The helicopter, which will be?delivered to launch customer Babcock in 2020, had already performed its first flight on the 14?December.?

The Airbus Helicopters VSR 700 demonstrator

20 December: The Airbus Helicopters VSR700 demonstrator took off for a fully unmanned autonomous flight at the military airbase in Istres in the south of France. The purpose of the flight was to establish compliance with the demanding regulatory and safety systems necessary for future unmanned flight in France.? During the exercise the demonstrator performed a 30 minute flight successfully executing a variety of flight patterns before landing in an autonomous mode. The unmanned air vehicle was piloted and monitored from the ground station located at the base.

2019

An H145 with the five-bladed rotor in flight.

4 March:?Airbus Helicopters unveiled a new version of its best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter. Exhibited for the first time at the Heli-Expo 2019 show in Atlanta, Georgia USA, this latest upgrade brings an innovative new five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the helicopter’s useful load by 150 kg.?

Airbus’ HFDM analytics service on a tablet.

5 March: Airbus Helicopters launched a new analytics service that supports operational safety by analysing aircraft data post-flight to identify risks before they lead to incidents. The HFDM (Flight Analyser helicopter flight data monitoring) evaluates the data generated by multiple on-board sources to automatically detect situations that could have been safer or could have potentially led to an incident or accident.

CHC Helicopters will use digital logcards with its H175.

6 March: Airbus announced that CHC Helicopter’s newest H175 will become the initial Airbus helicopter to be delivered with digital logcards. The digital logcard replaces outdated paper records with digital content stored in a secured cloud. Airbus Helicopters is the first helicopter manufacturer on the market to transform paper logcards into easy-to-use digital data.

Inside Airbus’ H135 FAL in Qingdao.

17 April: Airbus Helicopters expanded its industrial footprint and partnership with China through the opening of an H135 final assembly line in Qingdao. This is the first helicopter final assembly line built by a foreign manufacturer in China, as well as the first such assembly site for the H135 outside of Europe.

Confirming the pact for cleaner vertical flight.

19 June: A Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed by Airbus Helicopters and Safran Helicopter Engines to prepare the future of cleaner, quieter and more efficient vertical flight. This formalises their willingness to jointly demonstrate future technologies that will significantly contribute to the reduction of CO2?emissions and sound levels for future vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) platforms.

Airbus Helicopters employees mark 80 years of excellence.

1 July: 80 years of pioneering industrial excellence is observed by Airbus Helicopters, linked to the 1939 startup of activity at Marignane in southern France. Today, Marignane is home to the business’ headquarters, along with production lines for civil and military helicopters; design office; programme teams; maintenance, overhaul and repair activities; training and customer centres; development and testing facilities.

Marking Airbus Helicopters’ acquisition of Aersud Elicotteri.

12 July: Airbus Helicopters strengthened its Italian footprint with the acquisition of long-time distributor and 50-year partner Aersud Elicotteri, located near the city of Verona.

Celebrating the 1,000th Super Puma delivery.

6 September: Airbus Helicopters delivered its 1,000th Super Puma helicopter: a twin-engine multi-role H215 version assembled in Marignane, France, and provided to the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei) to support the German Havarie Command, which manages maritime emergencies off of Germany’s coast.

The H145 atop the Southern Hemisphere’s highest mountain.

25 September: Airbus Helicopters announced that it reached new heights in the Andes after the latest H145 version set its skids on Argentina’s Aconcagua – the Southern Hemisphere’s highest mountain, topping out at a height of 6,962 metres (22,840 feet). This is the first time a twin-engine helicopter landed at this altitude, confirming the performance and the extensive flight envelope of the new H145.

The ACH145 and the world’s largest superyacht.

26 September: Airbus Helicopters detailed plans to provide one of the first new ACH145 versions – with a five-blade main rotor and increased maximum take-off weight – as the on-board helicopter for the REV Ocean research and expedition vessel, the world’s largest superyacht. The ACH145, which can operate from either of the 600-ft.-long (183 metre) yacht’s two helidecks, will play a key role in passenger transport and re-supply, as well as support the REV Ocean’s primary scientific mission.

Artist rendering of CityAirbus in flight.

2 October: Airbus Helicopters and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) signed a joint Memorandum of Cooperation to unite their respective experiences and know-how in bringing the next generation of VTOL platforms to life, along with the necessary regulatory framework to support them. The areas of cooperation include high speed flight, the certification of new piloting assistance systems, the thermal/electrical hybridization of electric/hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) rotorcraft, and condition-based maintenance.

The Germany Navy’s initial NH90 Sea Lion in flight.

24 October: The first?NH90?Sea Lion naval multi-role helicopter for the German Navy was delivered by Airbus Helicopters. A total of 18 Sea Lions have been ordered by Germany to take on a wide range of roles, including search and rescue (SAR), maritime reconnaissance, special forces, as well as personnel and material transportation missions. In addition to its land-based use, the Sea Lion will operate on Type 702 (Berlin class) combat support ships.

Evaluations with the VSR700 UAS prototype.

12 November: The prototype of Airbus Helicopters’ VSR700 unmanned aerial system performed its first flight. Derived from Hélicoptères Guimbal’s Cabri G2, the VSR700 is an unmanned aerial system in the 500-1,000 kg, maximum take-off weight range, capable of carrying multiple full-sized naval sensors for extended periods – operating on existing ships and with a low logistical footprint.

Tiger helicopters for French, German and Spanish militaries.

3 December: Airbus Helicopters and Europe’s OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) signed a tri-lateral Global Support Contract aimed at boosting the availability rate of Tiger military helicopters in service in the French, German, and Spanish armies. With this long-term support agreement, Tiger readiness and supportability will be secured for the next decade and beyond.

2020

The ACH130 Aston Martin Edition with its namesake automobile.

3 January: The first offering from Airbus Helicopters’ partnership with Aston Martin Lagonda was unveiled: the ACH130 Aston Martin Edition. This stylish version of the ACH130 corporate rotorcraft was introduced with a range of four interior and exterior designs created by the Aston Martin luxury automotive group, bringing a new level of aesthetics and rigorous attention to detail for the helicopter market.

NASA ordered its three H135s for multiple operations.

28 January: During the Heli-Expo trade show’s opening day in Anaheim, California, the first-ever partnership between the U.S. space program and Airbus Helicopters was announced. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ordered three H135s for use in security operations during rocket launches, for emergency medical services and in the transport of qualified personnel. NASA will operate the H135s from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

H125 helicopters show off their capabilities in flight.

28 January: A major performance increase was revealed for the H125, making full use of the available power from Safran Helicopter Engines’ Arriel 2D powerplant. In addition to boosting the helicopter’s external and internal load lifting capabilities, it also will provide increased operational simplicity thanks to new options that improve visibility and pilot situational awareness.

Reviewing Airbus’ helicopter flight data on a tablet device.

29 January: The number of rotorcraft that share data with Airbus Helicopters surpassed the 1,000 mark, further advancing Airbus’ creation of a connected helicopter ecosystem in which data from disparate sources is shared and analysed – helping operators make sense of their data for business value.

Helitrans of Norway's H135

3 June: Helitrans of Norway became the first customer to take delivery of new Airbus helicopters using the e-Delivery process, which enables the handover of aircraft while ensuring compliance with health and safety restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This system relies on the customer accepting flight-test and inspection findings conducted by authorised Airbus staff. Key elements include a video inspection of the helicopter and loose object check, along with the disinfection of all items, and aircraft documentation verification.

Airbus Helicopters’ five-bladed H145 in flight.

19 June: Airbus Helicopters’ H145 was certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) with a new five-blade main rotor. This latest upgrade for the multi-mission H145 family increases useful load by 150 kg. (330 lb.). In addition, the new bearingless main rotor’s simplicity eases maintenance operations while improving ride comfort for passengers and crew.

Airbus Helicopters’ H160 granted EASA certification.

01 July: Airbus Helicopters’ multi-role twin engine H160 has been granted its type certificate by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), marking a new chapter for the programme. The company is expecting FAA certification to follow shortly prior to first delivery to an undisclosed US customer later this year.

CityAirbus performs its first fully automatic flight.

31 July: Airbus announced that the company’s CityAirbus demonstrator performed its first fully automatic flight, from take-off through stabilisation in flight, and landing at Donauw?rth, Germany. It clears the way for this demonstrator of an all-electric, four-seat, multicopter vehicle to be transferred to Manching in Germany for forward flight trials.

80 years of pioneering aviation

80 years of pioneering aviation

Retrace the 80 year history of Airbus Helicopters' Marignane site

Helicopters history

The full Helicopters history (1920s to today)

1920s

1930s-50s

1950s-60s

1960s-90s

1992-1995

1996-2000

2001-2005

2006-2010

2011-2015

2016-2020

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