Airbus debuts third H160 prototype


The third Airbus H160 prototype (PT3) performed its maiden flight at the company’s headquarters last week.

The supermedium class helicopter will be undertaking certification activities and flight testing, and is due for launch in 2019 in air transport and oil and gas configurations, followed by an emergency medical services variant.

The third prototype features an updated cabin interior and configuration.

Bernard Fujarski, senior vice president and head of the H160 programme, said: “The third prototype incorporates a significant amount of modifications based on feedback resulting from the first two years of testing by development, production and support teams.

“It plays an essential role in delivering a mature aircraft at entry into service and it is also closer to the serial definition with its interior lining and transport cabin configuration.”

The first two prototypes have more than 500 flight hours on record since their first flight on June 2015. All three prototypes are on track to complete their hot weather, antenna and operational equipment tests.

The H160’s assembly line in Marignane is in the final stages of development and will be ready to begin serial production of the aircraft shortly. Customer support activities are being prepared, alongside the helicopter’s development, to check and improve the maintenance plan ahead of operations.