Photo by Christian Keller courtesy of Airbus Helicopters
A Norwegian air ambulance operator is the first civil customer to take delivery of an Airbus Helicopters H135 equipped with a Helionix avionics suite, the manufacturer said. Norsk Luftambulanse AS (NOLAS) plans to accept delivery of six more this year and next.
“In demanding environments and under almost all kind of weather challenges, it is great to have the support of the new technological developments that the Helionix version can offer," said NOLAS CEO Rune Midtgaard. “It reduces the pilot workload, increases the safety of the operation and in the end the ability to reach the patients in need of the advanced medical support the service can offer.”
Last year, NOLAS was awarded a national helicopter EMS contract and is now set to operate 17 new helicopters from 12 bases come June 2018. All helicopters are equipped for day and night operations with a single pilot IFR/night vision imaging system configuration. The aircraft also have Aerolite interiors and medical equipment.
The H135 Helionix features a four-axis autopilot, three large electronic displays, night-vision-goggle compatibility and a First Limit Indicator highlighting appropriate engine instrument data, the company said. The indicator is protected by more than 20 registered patents, and Airbus claims the fully integrated system “cuts the amount of required equipment in half.” A helicopter terrain awareness system alerts crew in advance of land-based obstacles near the flight path, and a centralized maintenance function monitors the status of all subsystems.
In December 2016, U.K. defense was the first military customer to receive the H135 with Helionix. The aircraft and avionics suite had received an EASA certification the previous month. Helionix is already available on the H175 and H145.