Third H160 prototype completes maiden flight
Airbus Helicopters’ third H160 prototype, PT3, has completed its maiden flight at the company’s headquarters in Marignane, France, the company announced on 13 October.
Equipped with a cabin interior similar to the eventual serial-production aircraft, PT3 will contribute to flight test and certification activities. The H160 is expected to enter into service in 2019.
Airbus Helicopters has so far accumulated over 500 hours of flight testing using two prototypes since the maiden flight of aircraft PT1 in June 2015.
According to the company, the H160's new final assembly line at Marignane is almost complete and will be ready to start serial production shortly.
The first version to enter service will be passenger transport mainly for oil and gas or commercial transport, followed by an emergency medical services version.
Bernard Fujarski, SVP and head of H160 programme, Airbus Helicopters, said: ‘The third prototype incorporates a significant amount of modifications based on feedback resulting from the first two years of testing by development, production and support teams.
‘It plays an essential role in delivering a mature aircraft at entry into service and it is also closer to the serial definition with its interior lining and transport cabin configuration.’
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