The first H160 to roll off the brand new Airbus Helicopters assembly line in Marignane made its first flight on 14th December.
The first H160 to roll off the new Airbus Helicopters assembly line in Marignane made its first flight on 14th December. The aircraft performed a flight demonstration on 17th December in front of the H160 team in an end-of-the-year celebration of the programme’s achievements in 2018.
Airbus says that the helicopter is scheduled to be delivered to launch customer Babcock in 2020. Previously, the company had announced plans to build 10 “pre-production” aircraft. Airbus Helicopters announced the H160 fuselage/tail boom join-up in July.
The aircraft’s livery features the signatures of the several hundred people working towards the platform’s certification at the end of next year.
Airbus indicates that this first production aircraft will join the three prototypes, which have already accumulated over a 1,000 flight hours, in the final steps of the flight test campaign. The final phase of testing will be aimed at confirming that the modifications that have been introduced into the production configuration have no impact on the helicopter’s handling qualities.