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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Donauwörth, 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.