Rotorcraft ideally suited for Ethiopia’s hot and high operations
Officials from Airbus, a firm vying to provide helicopters all over Africa, successfully completed their public flight demonstration of its H125 helicopter.
On a week-long demo flight, organized by Airbus starting Monday 15th October, several prospective clients from the business community, public enterprises and Ethiopian defense force had the opportunity to fly and experience the H125 helicopter. The 30-minute flight in and around Addis, was very smooth and impressive, according to those along for the ride with the experienced pilot.
H125 with its robust, rugged and reliable single-engine, has proven its high performance in dry, high and hot operating conditions, said G. Franchini Africa area sales director who led the Airbus team to Ethiopia.
The 5-seat H125 is a member of Airbus’ Ecureuil family of civil and military light utility helicopters, which also includes the H130 and Fennec (military version). To date, more than 6,200 Ecureuil helicopters of several variants have been produced and delivered to some 1,900 operators in 120 countries. The global Ecureuil fleet has accumulated over 32 million flight hours in numerous roles and missions.
From the outset, the H125 was designed to be a versatile platform, capable of a range of operations. Its flat floor, wide and unobstructed cabin allows for rapid and simple cabin reconfiguration, making it equally suited to emergency medical rescue, law enforcement, aerial work such as crop spraying, power line installation and inspection, news gathering, geo-surveys, fire fighting, search and rescue as well as passenger transport. As a result of its design, the H125 can carry more passengers on more round-trip flights than any competing helicopter in the same category.
The H125 is powered by a Safran Arriel 2D engine, which has a 5,000 flight hour interval between overhauls, lowering the helicopter’s operating and maintenance costs.
In 2005, the AS350 B3 broke the world record for the highest-altitude landing and take-off, performed on Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 feet), a title still held today. In May 2013 an H125 performed the world’s highest long-line rescue operation, on Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest mountain in the Himalayas, at 7,800 metres (25,590 feet) above sea level, according to Jerome Dumoulin, Africa area sales manager.
More than 600 Airbus helicopters, including over 180 helicopters form the Ecureuil family, are flown by both civil and military operators across Africa. In addition, at its support facilities in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Cape Town, Airbus assembles, completes and maintains helicopters which are operated by customers in 20 sub-Saharan and Indian Ocean island countries. It also provides engineering capabilities and training for pilots and technical support personnel.