Airbus Helicopters celebrated a major milestone last week with the roll-out of the 700th H130 light single-engine helicopter, which will be operated by a private customer.
The H130 fleet has so far accumulated more than 1.8M flight hours with 340 operators worldwide. Since entry into service of the first EC130 in 2001, this light single engine helicopter has continued to evolve to better respond to customer’s expectations, with the latest H130 variant being certified in 2012. Since the beginning of this year, all H130s are produced with a glass cockpit for increased pilot awareness and enhanced safety.
Offering a spacious and comfortable cabin, low sound levels, the best visibility and the lowest operating cost per passenger in its class, the H130 is a reference for passenger transport and tourism operations around the world. It is also widely used for other missions including emergency medical services, private and business aviation and aerial work.
Airbus remains the largest manufacturer of helicopters worldwide in 2017, beating out Robinson Helicopters on volume slightly this year., Airbus Group reported earnings of €64.5 billion in 2015 and employs a workforce of around 136,600. The helicopter division of Airbus is one of it’s smaller markets, yet an essential one as the company continues to sell a large number of helicopters around the world. The new H130 has seen use in the United States as a competitor to the company’s own AS350/H125 helicopter in the HEMS sector, as some operators opt for the more spacious cabin in the H130 that allows medical crews a wider area in which to treat patients. The H130 has also seen increased popularity as a tour helicopter, allowing up to eight seats in the helicopter. Las Vegas tour operators Maverick and Papillon operate dozens of H130 helicopters on tours of the Grand Canyon, while several operators in the New York area have also begun using the H130 for tours around the New York City area, preferring the much quieter fenestron on the tail of the H130 for noise issues.
Ryan Mason is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of Heliweb Magazine. Ryan has worked in the aviation industry for the last nine years working for multiple international aviation publications. Ryan has also written for law enforcement publications drawing on his years of experience as a police officer in the Midwest United States. You can reach Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org