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Falcon Aviation and Airbus Helicopters have signed a new MoU at the Dubai Airshow expanding their commitment to the H160, adding three additional helicopters to the original letter of intent (LOI) signed in May 2016.
“We took the decision to increase our request following a flight demonstration where we got the opportunity to test the H160’s excellent passenger flight experience first-hand,” said Capt Raman Oberoi, chief operating officer of Falcon Aviation. “The H160 definitely meets our demanding standards for VIP traveling in terms of comfort.”
“We are proud that Falcon Aviation has chosen to confirm its trust placed into our latest product,” said Timothee Cargill, senior vice president and head of Middle East and Africa at Airbus Helicopters. “We are sure that the H160’s high level of innovation providing unrivaled comfort with low sound levels and excellent stability alongside its exclusive interior design will be an asset to Falcon Aviation’s operations,” he added.
The H160, with three prototypes now in flight testing, is currently preparing certification and entry into service in 2019. The helicopter’s final assembly line in Marignane, France, is also in the final stages of preparation, and it will be ready to start serial production shortly.
Customer support activities are being developed in parallel thanks to the extensive involvement of maintenance teams, through the operator zero campaign, using the prototypes and test means to check and improve the maintenance plan; digital work cards and technical documentation; and tooling, ahead of actual operations.
The first version to enter service in 2019 will be the passenger transport one — commercial air transport or oil-and-gas, followed by the emergency medical services (EMS) version, with the VIP version scheduled for 2021.