CHC H175 completes inaugural flight
CHC has completed its first H175 super medium flight.
The helicopter flew an offshore operation from CHC’s Aberdeen base to the Shell-owned Ocean Patriot offshore platform.
CHC ordered two H175s and three AW189s in July 2017 as part of super medium aircraft programme with GE lessor subsidiary Milestone Aviation.
The Aberdeen base will act as the engineering centre for its entire H175 fleet. The three aircraft will be configured for energy transport missions in the North Sea.
Mark Abbey, regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, CHC said: “I am delighted to see the H175 officially take off for our European operation – the first of three in the CHC fleet– and to offer this new-generation aircraft to Shell, for whom we have provided aviation services, in the United Kingdom/North Sea, since 2012.”
“The aircraft can be configured to carry up to 16 passengers allowing CHC to efficiently manage our customer’s’ current North Sea operations whilst also providing a high level of operational flexibility. This is key to customers’ needs in the next phase of North Sea oil and gas activity.”
Super medium competition
The H175 is a direct competitor to the AgustaWestland AW189 in the super medium market. Both helicopters were designed with a focus on the oil and gas sector and offer similar specs, although the AW189 offers a higher maximum takeoff weight and an extra passenger seat.
CHC added the five new super mediums to its fleet to fill the role of long-haul offshore aircraft typically reserved for heavies. The super medium offers lower costs per passenger with a comparable range. The order was signed shortly after it resurfaced from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March with a $300 million injection.