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Chicago-based customer David MacNeil is the first business and private aviation customer in North America to choose the new 5-bladed H145, announced March 7 at the Heli-Expo trade show. The new version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 increases the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg (330 lb.) while delivering new levels of comfort, simplicity and connectivity.
“As an avid aviation enthusiast, I am always looking to stay up to date with the latest innovations, and I’m very happy that Airbus offers me the possibility to include such technologies on my current fleet,” said David MacNeil, founder and CEO of WeatherTech and Pet Comfort. “Adding this increased performance and comfort to my H145 will be a real asset for my business and I look forward to being one of the first to take advantage of this opportunity.”
David MacNeil has been an Airbus Helicopters customer since 2013 and currently operates three aircraft – the H145 and two H125s. He is the founder of WeatherTech, based in Bolingbrook, Illinois, that offers custom automotive accessories and pet-care essentials. WeatherTech manufactures in the United States and currently distributes to over 84 countries worldwide.
The H145’s new five-bladed rotor brings a significant increase in overall performance and the simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations. The reduced rotor diameter will allow the H145 to operate in more confined areas and the integration of the wireless Airborne Communication System (wACS) will allow seamless and secure transmission of data generated by the helicopter in real-time, including in-flight.
“The H145 is a fantastic aircraft for corporate missions, and we look forward to supporting David and his teams as they retrofit their H145 aircraft with this exciting new innovation,” said Airbus Helicopters Inc. president and head of North America Region Chris Emerson.
Certification of the 5-bladed H145 is planned for 2020. The H145 is the class-leader among light twin-engine helicopters, incorporating Airbus Helicopters’ advanced cockpit design and innovative Helionix avionics suite. Its versatility, spacious cabin, and rear-loading clamshell doors have made it the leading choice for multi-mission operators, including private and business aviation.