Airbus Helicopters appears to be on track to introduce a number of upgrades for its super-medium-class H175, including an increase to its maximum take-off weight.
Unveiled in May 2014, the enhancement grows MTOW by 300kg (661lb) to 7.8t and will not require any changes to the helicopter’s hardware, says the manufacturer, simply a modification of its Helionix avionics system and flight manual.
European Aviation Safety Agency certification is expected “before the end of the year”, says Airbus Helicopters, and the upgrade will be available to both new and in-service examples.
Also due for EASA approval this year is a limited ice protection system. Tests of the equipment ended in the early part of 2016 and the certification paperwork “is in the final stages of completion”, it says.
Lastly, flight trials with the manufacturer’s Rig ‘N’ Fly automated approach system are “almost completed”, says Airbus Helicopters, with no issues detected; it says the certification process “will be completed before summer 2017”.
Deliveries of the H175 have been sluggish thanks to the downturn in the oil and gas market. However, the first example to enter service in Latin America was recently handed over to Mexican operator Transportes Aereos Pegaso; a second H175 will follow in 2017.