|Airbus Helicopters’ H175 was originally equipped for offshore transport operations. Now the new variant has search and rescue, emergency medical services, law enforcement, firefighting and border security capabilities. Photo: Airbus Helicopters
[Avionics Magazine 10-13-2016] The public service configuration of the Airbus Helicopters H175 finished the first phase of flight testing last week, according to a company news release. Now Airbus Helicopters is preparing for the second phase, which will start in December, with two additional aircraft.
The H175 was originally equipped for offshore transport operations. The new variant has search and rescue, emergency medical services, law enforcement, firefighting, and border security capabilities. At the end of 2017, it will enter into service with its launch customer, Hong Kong Government Flying Service (GFS).
Last week, Airbus Helicopters demonstrated new H175 capabilities to GFS, which signed on for seven rotorcraft last year. The new H175 differs from the offshore variant in swing-role capabilities; this enables speedy, smooth reconfiguration to changing mission requirements. The rotorcraft also has advanced autopilot technology, which will decrease pilot workload during search and rescue missions. This autopilot was also certified for the previous H175 variant, so oil and gas customers can also perform search and rescue missions.