The Federal Aviation Administration took its time before granting the H160 its American type certificate. The latest addition to the Airbus helicopter family can finally begin its operational life in the United States.
The FAA took less than three years to certify the H160. The European Type Certificate was issued by EASA in July 2020. Admittedly, this helicopter is a concentration of innovation. But its noise-reducing blue-edge rotor blades, angled fenestron for higher payloads and a Helionics avionics suite designed to reduce pilot workload aren’t the whole story. The American administration is going through one of the most critical periods in its history. The 737MAX affair revealed serious internal malfunctions and was too much to rely on businessmen to manage files.
The FAA needs to be deeply reformed. This requirement calls for a review of its mode of operation, as entrepreneurs, regardless of their size, bear the burden. They had no choice but to respond to the demands of the American authorities with maximum rigor and diligence, and above all to take their problems patiently.
Airbus Helicopters says it has received more than 100 orders for the H160 multirole helicopter, including a dozen in the United States, and is already in service in Japan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Europe. A total of over 1,700 flight hours including marine transport for the energy sector, private and commercial aviation, emergency medical services, commercial passenger transport and general services such as search and rescue and law enforcement.
The first H160 Level D full-flight simulator (FFS) in North America is expected to enter service in the second half of 2025. It is located at the Helicim Simulation Center (Airbus Helicopters) in Grand Prairie, Texas.
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