The H160 prototype during its initial ground run. Airbus Helicopters/Jérome Deulin Photo
Less than three months after debuting a mockup of the H160 at Heli-Expo 2015, Airbus Helicopters has unveiled the first prototype of the aircraft.
The prototype was publicly revealed on Friday, May 29, in the presence of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at Airbus Helicopters’ facilities in Marignane, France. According to Airbus, the unveiling followed the prototype’s initial ground run, which took place on Thursday, May 28. The company previously reported that the prototype, the first of three, powered on in November 2014.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is escorted around the H160 prototype during his visit to Marignane. Airbus Helicopters/Jérome Deulin Photo
The H160 — which was known by the code name “X4” prior to its Heli-Expo debut earlier this year — is a twin-engine, 5.5- to six-tonne aircraft that will occupy the space between the H145 and the H175 in Airbus Helicopters’ product range. It features a number of innovations, including a fully composite airframe, the company’s proprietary Blue Edge blades, electrical landing gear, and a new canted Fenestron tail rotor (read our full coverage on the H160 here
Airbus is targeting certification and first delivery of the aircraft in 2018.
The H160’s final performance specifications will be announced progressively as the development program continues. Airbus Helicopters/Jérome Deulin Photo