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.
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.
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 The digital logcard replaces outdated paper records with digital content stored in a secured cloud.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.