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H160's maximum take-off weight finally confirmed

Airbus Helicopters has finally confirmed several key performance parameters for its developmental H160 medium-class rotorcraft, just as the third flight-test prototype is prepared for its maiden sortie.

Highlighted in a data sheet on show at the Helitech exhibition in London, the manufacturer gives the H160's maximum take-off weight (MTOW) as 5,670kg (12,500lb). However, it is also listed in an "extended gross weight" configuration of 6,050kg.

Both options are available from day one, with no operational penalties, according to the brochure.

Airbus Helicopters had previously been vague on the H160's MTOW, listing it only as 5.5-6t.

Fast cruise speed is given as 155kt (285km/h), with a range of above 460nm (850km).

So far, the manufacturer has amassed 500h of flight testing with the initial pair of Safran Helicopter Engines Arrano-powered H160s.

The programme's third prototype has now been handed over to Airbus Helicopters' flight-test department in Marignane, France and a maiden sortie looks set for the coming days.

With the entire flight envelope now opened, the remaining development activities will focus on hot weather tests, antennas, and optional equipment, says the airframer.

"Flights dedicated to certification activities and maturity will also ramp-up significantly over the coming months," it adds.

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