Helicopter maker Airbus Helicopters said Wednesday it had delivered the first five-bladed H145 helicopter to be used in the offshore wind segment to its client HTM Helicopters in Germany.

The aircraft will be operated from one of HTM’s bases at Norden-Norddeich, Emden, Borkum and Helgoland. For its missions, which include passenger transport to and from wind farms and hoisting technicians to the wind turbines, the helicopter is equipped with a powerful hoist, floatation equipment, and a cargo hook, Airbus Helicopters said. The fifth blade increases the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg.

“We already operate one four-bladed H145 in the offshore wind segment which has proven to be the perfect fit for our operations in often challenging environments,” said Bernd Brucherseifer, Pilot and Managing Director at HTM Helicopters. “The increased useful load, the smoother ride onboard and the excellent OEI performance of the five-bladed version will help us to further enhance our mission capabilities.”

“We’d like to thank HTM Helicopters for its continued trust in our helicopters and especially in the H145,” says Axel Humpert, Head of the H145 Programme. “We’re proud that our helicopters are used to maintain offshore wind parks, which play an important role in the expansion of renewable energy.”

The European Union has set its target to increase the offshore wind energy capacity to more than 60 GW by 2030 (2020: 12 GW). With its outstanding performance for the transport and hoisting of wind farm technicians, the H145 can address more than 95% of the world’s current and future offshore wind farms projects, Airbus said.

According to Airbus, the new variant of its best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta in March. 

The latest upgrade adds a five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. 

“The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew,” Airbus said.

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