Hong Kong-based Government Flying Services (GFS) has ordered seven Airbus Helicopters H175s, becoming the world’s launching customer for this new-generation super-medium-sized rotorcraft in the public services configuration.
GFS is a department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, with the main responsibility of providing 24-hour emergency support services. It is an established operator of Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft, currently flying three AS332s and four H155s for search and rescue (SAR) and firefighting missions.
“The H175 ticks all the right boxes for our mission requirements,” said Captain Michael Chan, Controller of GFS. “We are confident that the addition of the H175s to our fleet will enhance our capabilities to serve the local community inshore and out at sea.”
The public services configuration offers multi-role capabilities, enabling speedy and seamless transformation based on mission requirements. The wide range of missions that can be performed include SAR operations, emergency medical services, fire fighting, law enforcement and land/maritime border security patrols. Deliveries will begin towards end 2017 with the first batch of three aircraft, followed by the remaining four in 2018.
“I want to extend my sincere thanks to GFS for selecting our new-generation rotorcraft,” said Airbus Helicopters President & CEO Guillaume Faury. “After the successful entry into service of the H175 in oil and gas configuration, the launch of the H175 public services version is another important milestone in this program. The enlarged mission scope will not only be good news for public services providers, but also for oil & gas operators, as they will benefit from having the ability to equip themselves for a quick role change for SAR operations.”
“This acquisition is an outstanding recognition of the H175, as GFS is a world reference for SAR operations in highly demanding missions that require long range and good performance in all-weather conditions,” said Norbert Ducrot, Airbus Helicopters’ Head of North Asia region. “We sincerely thank them for placing their trust in our products and we will continue to put in our utmost efforts in ensuring efficient and close support for their fleet.”
GFS’ H175s will have an inbuilt electro-optical system for observation and tracking, along with an enhanced digital map display, both managed from an operator’s console in the cabin. Other mission equipment include dual hoists, loud-speaker hailers, a searchlight, and steerable external lighting. The H175’s highly capable autopilot will incorporate additional advanced modes to further decrease pilot workload during SAR operations.
About the H175
The H175 (previously known as the EC175) has been certified to the latest airworthiness standards and is a high performer offering the greatest endurance of six hours, the longest range and the highest cruise speed in its class, with a standard fuel tank capacity of more than 2 tons.
It incorporates the Airbus Helicopters-developed Helionix® avionics suite which provides increased safety through reduced pilot workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy.
This helicopter is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada’s latest PT6 turboshaft engine version – the PT6-C67E – developed specifically for the H175. Among the rotorcraft’s competitive attributes is a recommended cruise speed of 150 kts, as well as a maximum cruise speed exceeding 165 kts – all achieved at extremely low vibration levels.
Excellent power performance for the H175 includes hover out of ground effect (HOGE) with a maximum 7.5-metric-ton takeoff weight at 5,800 ft. at ISA+20°C conditions, and one engine inoperative (OEI) hover performance, which ensures safety during hoisting for search and rescue missions.
About Airbus Helicopters
Airbus Helicopters is a division of Airbus Group. The company provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in highly demanding environments. Flying more than 3 million flight hours per year, the company’s in-service fleet includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and in 2014 generated revenues of 6.5 billion Euros. In line with the company’s new identity, fully integrated into Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters has renamed its product range replacing the former “EC” designation with an “H”.