In flights demonstrating the H145’s performance at challenging altitudes and in scenarios ranging from VIP transport, onshore transport (mining), oil & gas, police, search and rescue, and military operations, the demo tours were an opportunity for audiences to evaluate the aircraft’s suitability to the demanding operational requirements in Bolivia and Peru, where difficult geographic conditions prevail.
On the Bolivian Altiplano, with elevations of 13,500 ft and temperatures nearing 20 degrees Celsius, the H145 took to the skies to demonstrate the ability to perform VIP transport and military missions. The H145’s agility and handling proved to be exceptional, while the cockpit design and large cabin - seating up to 12 pilot(s) and passengers - provided excellent visibility for the crew.
The H145’s compact airframe and powerful Arriel 2E engines were on display during a demo flight with Peruvian operator Andes, in which the aircraft demonstrated the ability to transport up to 8 passengers and two crew in taking off from Cusco airport (10,800 ft) and landing at 12,500 ft at 16 degrees Celsius.
Endowed with a mission management system that aids its multi-role capabilities, the H145 responds to a variety of mission needs, as evidenced by the Policía Nacional del Perú (PNP), the region’s biggest operator of H145s with five aircraft, who have logged 1,000 flight hours to-date in law enforcement operations.
High altitude tests to increase the H145’s flight envelope at very high altitudes took place over the same period last week. The altitude tests were performed at the La Paz/El Alto airport, at an elevation of 13,325 ft above sea level and conditions of up to ISA+25 degrees Celsius. Additional tests were performed at an elevation of 17,000 ft. The emphasis of the flight tests, which were witnessed by EASA, was on performance and controllability. The results, which exceeded expectations, will help to establish the maximum takeoff and landing altitude for the helicopter up to 20,000 ft.
During an evaluation of the aircraft's operational capabilities, the flight test team also demonstrated the ability to land and hover out of ground effect at elevations up to 20,500 ft. The performance and handling qualities experienced during this evaluation showed that the H145 is fully capable of performing rescue missions up to these altitudes.