Air Corporate orders Europe’s first Airbus ACH160 Lounge
Air Corporate – the Italian helicopter and fixed wing charter operator – is to take delivery of Europe’s first Airbus ACH160 Lounge model. The helicopter, to be based Milan, northern Italy, will be offered for charter from early 2023.
Developed in partnership between the operator and Airbus, the Lounge configuration features a wooden veneer floor in place of a carpet flooring. Light wood also replace carbon throughout the interior. Upholstered leather is used for the rear partition and lower door portions. The helicopter interior is soundproofed throughout and is lighter than other Airbus ACH160 Lounge models.
Roano Grandi, CEO and president of the board, Air Corporate told a press meeting at European Rotors earlier this month: “We are delighted to add this exceptional helicopter to our fleet … It will be our flagship and will certainly generate attraction by our customers”.
Airbus Helicopters welcomed the forthcoming arrival in Italy of the ACH160 Lounge, which features 68 new patented technologies. Most of these patents involve innovation to the airframe and rotor tail assembly. For example, improvements to the fenestron are said to deliver greater useful load and a flat attitude in flight, and sound-reducing Blue Edge rotor blades result in quieter operations.
An Airbus spokesman said: “We are confident that Air Corporate and Italian customers and operators will greatly appreciate the technology, comfort, silence and distinctiveness of the ACH160.”
The charter firm and helicopter flight school also revealed it has ordered two new flight training device simulators, for the Airbus light utility twin H145 helicopter and the single-engine Airbus H125, from Spanish manufacturer Entrol. Air Corporate has also ordered a Bombardier 3500 to expand its charter services.
Meanwhile, the manufacturer claims the ACH160 is the most technologically advanced helicopter in its class. It is said to provide 20% greater volume per passenger compared with previous generation medium twin helicopters, 35% larger windows than its competitors, resulting in the brightest cabin in its category and 15% lower fuel burn than its nearest competitor.
The ACH160 range is designed in three versions – the Lounge, Line and Exclusive – to meet the needs of different markets.
Airbus Helicopters delivered the world’s first ACH160 (pictured) to a customer in Brazil in August this year, on the eve of the 17th edition of the Annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) at Congonhas airport, São Paulo.