Airbus Helicopters UK is growing, ACH nets six orders in 2017


Airbus Helicopter’s UK division netted 14 civil helicopter orders in 2017. Six of the orders were signed by Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) – making it the most successful Airbus subsidiary in the UK just a year after its launch.

Four of the six orders secured by the year-old ACH were for the upcoming H160. The corporate-outfitted ACH160s were sold to an undisclosed North American customer and are the first H160s to be sold in the North American market. The precise destination of the other two orders has not been announced.

The OEM is growing its presence in the UK market, with helicopters manufactured by Airbus now representing 46% of the total civil and parapublic helicopters in the region.

Colin James, managing director Airbus Helicopters UK said: “As a home country, it is Airbus Helicopters’ role to invest in current and future UK-based rotary wing solutions and technology for the benefit of customers at home and overseas; in this way helping to make the UK and Airbus Helicopters more competitive on the global market”

“Furthermore, by leveraging on our civil business know-how we are helping to drive efficiencies into the UK defence helicopter market.”

Airbus Helicopters UK also signed an order of two H125s with an undisclosed European customer for border security operations. It also received an order for four customised H125s with British defence company Qinetiq to operate the helicopter at its Empire Test Pilot School.

Two new Airbus UK research and development projects were approved in 2017. The first being an augmented-reality project – using virtual reality to aid maintenance operations — and a project focused on autonomous deck landings. The projects are both scheduled to launch in 2018 in partnership with the UK government.

Airbus UK also delivered 25 H135 Juno’s in 2017 to the UK Military Flying Training System (MTFS) which operates out of two hangars in Shawbury, Shropshire. This marks the biggest H135 order Airbus has delivered in a year. The UK operator also signed a £100 million fleet-support agreement with Airbus UK last year for its Puma mk2s.