All Nippon Helicopters’ (ANH) H160 has successfully completed its first flight test.
The 95-minute flight at the Marseille Provence Airport opens the door for the aircraft’s entry into service in Japan. ANH has a helicopter fleet comprising six AS365s and five H135s for electronic news gathering for TV stations in Japan; the new helicopter will replace replace one of the company’s AS365s.
“We are delighted to see the successful inaugural flight of Japan’s very first H160, and we are looking forward to this next-generation helicopter playing an important role in our nationwide missions,” said Jun Yanagawa, president of ANH. “Since the introduction of the AS365 helicopter three decades ago, the requirements of the electronic news gathering market is constantly evolving and has significantly improved. This state-of-the-art helicopter H160 is a timely welcome for our operations.”
The H160 gained its type certificate from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in July last year. Certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) expected in the first quarter of the year. Upon delivery of the helicopter, specialized equipment installation and customization will be performed at Airbus Helicopters’ Kobe facility, before its entry into service.
Japan’s electronic news gathering market is a mature market with 87 helicopters dedicated for such missions today. Close to 70% of those helicopters are manufactured by Airbus, with the H125, AS365, H135 and H155 platforms commonly used by the operators.
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