Airbus’ intermediate single-engine H125 is well-suited for oil and gas support duties including pipeline patrols and light-lift cargo flights. Its reliability is proven in quick-turnaround missions, while the use of composite material for the helicopter’s airframe, rotors and main rotor head provide protection against corrosion – reducing maintenance costs.
The twin-engine H135’s exceptional manoeuvrability, along with its high safety levels and easy cabin access, tailor this helicopter to a variety of oil and gas operations. Its simple design enables fast and easy maintenance to ensure optimal dispatch availability and reduced operating costs. As a versatile twin-engine platform, it can be equipped with emergency floats, weather/search radar and a Class D-certified external hoist; while the energy-absorbing airframe, crash-resistant seats and fuel cells enhance operational safety.
Airbus’ twin-engine H145 is recognised for its agility and handling qualities – even in high wind conditions and the constrained operational environment of oil and gas rig landing pads. With two powerful turboshaft engines, the rotorcraft provides optimal safety during normal flight conditions and in one-engine inoperative (OEI) scenarios. The high-set main rotor and Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor dramatically improve security on the platform. Eight passengers have easy access via extra-wide sliding doors on both sides of the aircraft, while rear clamshell doors facilitate the loading and unloading of stretchers, equipment and supplies.
The AS365 N3 Dauphin and the wide-body H155 version combine well-proven technologies and excellent performance for oil and gas missions. The equipment list of these twin-engine helicopters includes a 4-axis digital autopilot, traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS), automatic voice alarm device (AVAD), external life rafts, automatic deployable emergency locator transmitter, and a quick-access recorder for helicopter flight data management. Its composite main rotor blades are corrosion-proof, ensuring an extremely long life and contributing to low maintenance per flight hour.
The H160 opens a new chapter in the history of Airbus. Joining the helicopter product range between the H145 and the H175, this revolutionary medium helicopter brings innovation in support of the oil and gas industry. Accommodating up to 12 passengers in comfort, the H160 offers very low vibration and sound levels. Its optimised design will ensure the lowest cost per seat mile in its class. Equipped with the Helionix® avionics suite, the H160 will offer an easy transition in terms of cockpit interface for pilots qualified on the H135, H145 and H175.
Super medium helicopters
Airbus’ H175 was developed with the oil and gas industry to meet operators’ needs for performance and cost efficiency. This seven metric tonne-category rotorcraft meets the latest airworthiness standards, covering both the aircraft and its new Helionix® avionics suite, which provides increased safety through reduced pilot workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy. Accommodating up to 18 passengers in comfort – with the most cabin volume per person – the H175’s in-flight environment is enhanced by very low vibration levels and a smooth ride–even at high speeds. Its fuel capacity, unrivalled for a helicopter in its class, offers logistical flexibility for distances beyond 250 nautical miles.
The 11 metric tonne-category H225 is a preferred choice of oil and gas operators around the globe. Integrating the latest technologies – and certified for flight in icing conditions – this helicopter is designed with a damage-tolerant rotor system and fuselage, while the state-of-the-art avionics system considerably reduces pilot workload to enhance safety.
Its size and design allow for a heavy payload, long range and fast cruise speed. The H225’s flight endurance exceeds five hours and 30 minutes with up to 19 passengers seated in a wide, air-conditioned cabin.
Airbus helicopters perform vital offshore oil and gas airlift duties – delivering the performance and range to service existing platforms, along with the reach to attain the increasing number of sites located further out to sea. Its family of helicopters are deployed in the oil and gas regions of the North Sea, Western Australia, India, the Gulf of Mexico, South America, Asia, Russia, the CIS and Western Africa.
The H145 is recognised for its handling qualities even in high wind conditions and the constrained operational environment of oil and gas rig helidecks. Its eight-passenger offshore configuration has been approved by major oil companies.
The first version of the H160, the future generation 12-seater, will be certified in 2019 and will enter in service in 2020 in commercial air transport or in oil and gas configuration.
The H175, which entered North Sea service in 2014, has now been successfully deployed over five continents and approved by 13 oil companies. Furthering its capabilities, Airbus’ Rig’N Fly GPS navigation-assisted software – first developed for use on the H225 – has been incorporated in the H175’s avionics suite to allow fully automatic approach up to go-around decision and final helideck landing assistance.
Search and rescue
Oil and gas operators rely on Airbus’ twin-engine rotorcraft for critical search and rescue (SAR) duties, counting on their speed, performance, and wide cabins for quick changes from daily duties to life-saving missions.
The all-weather H225 is well-suited for this role, with excellent stability and highly accurate hover capabilities.
Airbus’ H175 is tailored for search and rescue, with its Helionix® avionics suite and digital 4-axis autopilot providing high precision and stability for automatic transitions to hover, while enabling search modes to be entered from any flight configuration.
The lift performance of the H175 and H225 enable SAR mission equipment such as radar, an electro-optic sensor turret and searchlight to be incorporated, while their large cabins can accommodate a dedicated operator station and a full range of medical equipment and stretchers.
Pipeline surveillance contributes to maintaining the flow of oil and gas from extraction sites to distribution centres. The work demands reliable and robust aircraft that can handle rugged terrain and extreme climates.
Airbus’ light rotorcraft families are regularly called upon for such missions, where their range, low cabin noise, low vibration levels, and operational efficiency are key advantages.
Oil & gas mission news