All Nippon Helicopters’ (ANH) Airbus H160 has performed its first flight test, a 95-minute flight from Marseille Provence Airport.
This successful maiden flight paves just how for the aircraft’s entry into service in Japan.
ANH deploys a helicopter fleet comprising six AS365s and five H135s for electronic news gathering for it stations across Japan. This H160 will replace among its AS365s.
“We will be delighted to start to see the successful inaugural flight of Japan’s very first H160, and we want forward to the next-generation helicopter playing an essential role inside our nationwide missions,” said Jun Yanagawa, president of ANH. “Because the introduction of the AS365 helicopter three decades ago, certain requirements of the electronic news gathering market is continually evolving and has considerably improved. This state-of-the-art helicopter H160 can be a timely welcome for our operations.”
The H160 was granted its type certificate by EASA in July 2020, with the documentation from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) expected in early 2021.
Upon delivery of the helicopter, specialized equipment installation and customization will be performed at Airbus Helicopters’ Kobe facility, before its entry into service.
“We happen to be honored to possess ANH as our H160 launch customer in Japan, because they renew their fleet. This successful first flight is specially meaningful in this unprecedented time for the industry. We thank our customer and the teams involved for devoting maximum efforts into this achievement. We will continue steadily to furnish our utmost support and be sure a smooth delivery to ANH,” stated Guillaume Leprince, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in Japan.
Japan’s electronic news gathering market is usually a mature market with 87 helicopters focused for such missions today. Near 70% of these helicopters are manufactured by Airbus, with the H125, AS365, H135 and H155 platforms commonly utilized by the operators.