2018

8 February:  Airbus’ Skyways unmanned aerial vehicle – which was designed for autonomous parcel deliveries – makes its first flight demonstration, validating the drone’s automatic loading and unloading capabilities.

1 March: Babcock becomes the global launch customer for Airbus’ H160 after signing a five-year framework agreement to purchase a fleet of the medium-class helicopters. The H160s will be used for emergency medical services (EMS) and other critical services missions – starting in Europe and deployed progressively across Babcock’s bases worldwide.

1 April: Airbus appoints Bruno Even, 49, as Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Helicopters. He reports to Airbus CEO Tom Enders, and joins the company’s Executive Committee.

12 April: Airbus celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of the company’s most recognizable innovations for helicopters: the Fenestron shrouded tail rotor. Initially developed to provide additional safeguards for personnel working around the rotorcraft when on the ground – and to protect the tail rotor in forward flight, as well as in complicated operational environments – the concept of shrouding the tail rotor also led to sound reduction, resulting from Airbus research and optimisation.

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

24 July: The LCH (Light Civil Helicopter) prototype’s maiden flight – conducted in Marignane, France – marks a major milestone in the three years of close cooperation between Airbus and KAI (Korean Aerospace Industries) in developing this rotorcraft version.

25 July: The final series production German Tiger attack helicopter is delivered. This completes the series production of Tiger support helicopters at Airbus’ Donauwörth, Germany facility, which began in 1999.

20 December: The demonstrator for Airbus Helicopters’ VSR700 light military tactical unmanned aerial system performs a fully unmanned autonomous flight at the Istres air base in southern France. During the 30-minute flight, it successfully executes a variety of flight patterns before landing in an autonomous mode.

 

The Skyways drone in flight.

The Skyways drone in flight.

The latest and largest Fenestron version is shown on Airbus Helicopters’ H160.

The latest and largest Fenestron version is shown on Airbus Helicopters’ H160.

Team photo for the maiden flight of the LCH (Light Civil Helicopter).

Team photo for the maiden flight of the LCH (Light Civil Helicopter).

H175

Two of the initial H175s in the public services configuration for Hong Kong’s Government Flying Service are shown in flight.

The Airbus Helicopters VSR 700 demonstrator during flight in the unmanned autonomous mode.

The Airbus Helicopters VSR 700 demonstrator during flight in the unmanned autonomous mode

Features of the H160 helicopter

Infographic highlighting features of the H160 helicopter.

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