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  • PICTURE: First serial H160 helicopter takes flight

PICTURE: First serial H160 helicopter takes flight

Airbus Helicopters has performed the maiden sortie of the first serial H160, meeting a self-imposed deadline to fly the medium-twin before Christmas.

Conducted from the manufacturer's Marignane facility in the south of France – the location of the new final assembly line for the 6t-class helicopter – the milestone took place on 14 December, with a flight demonstration for employees occurring three days later.

The serially produced H160 features a special livery incorporating signatures from hundreds of Airbus Helicopters employees working on the programme.

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Airbus Helicopters

European certification of the H160 is due in late 2019, ahead of delivery to launch customer Babcock in 2020.

So far, the three flight-test prototypes have accumulated over 1,000h in the air. The H160 is powered by twin Safran Helicopter Engines Arrano turboshafts.

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