Airbus Helicopters H175

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F-WWPB (8970723436).jpg
Role Medium utility helicopter
Manufacturer Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter Group)
Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG)
First flight 17 December 2009
Introduction December 2014[1]
Status In production

The Airbus Helicopters H175, also known as the Avicopter AC352 and formerly as the Eurocopter EC175 and the Avicopter Z-15, is a 7-ton class medium utility helicopter produced by Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter Group) and the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

Formally launched at Heli-Expo in Houston on 24 February 2008, it was predicted by Airbus Helicopters that approximately 800 to 1,000 EC175s would be sold over an initial 20-year period.[2][3] It entered service in December 2014; in 2015, the EC175 was formally renamed to the H175, in line with Eurocopter's corporate rebranding as Airbus Helicopters.[4]


On 5 December 2005, a development contract for what would become the EC175 was signed by Eurocopter and Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) of China. Early development work on the project proceeded as per schedule: On 5 December 2006, the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) was completed; the Critical Design Review (CDR) was completed on 5 December 2007, at which point the design of the aircraft and all its sub-systems was frozen. In 2008, it was expected that development of the EC175 would cost €600 million.[2] The EC175 was developed through close cooperation with existing operators via a customer advisory team (CAT) approach.[5]

An EC175 prototype during a demonstration flight, 2011

During the EC175's formal unveiling at Heli-Expo 2008, Eurocopter booked a total of 111 purchase options from 13 customers, including launch customers Bristow Helicopters and the VIH Aviation Group.[6] During the Zhuhai Airshow in November 2008, a letter of intent for 5 Z-15s was signed between HAIG and Chinese domestic general-purpose aviation company Longken General Aviation Cooperation.[7] As defined in 2008, the commercial marketing of the EC175 as follows: HAIG is responsible for selling the type within China and neighboring nations, Airbus Helicopters is responsible for sales to the rest of the world.[2]

Having made its first flight on 4 December 2009,[8] the EC175 prototype performed its official maiden flight on 17 December 2009 in Marignane, France.[9] A two-year delivery delay was encountered, partly due to certification issues with the rotorcraft's Helinix avionics suite.[10] The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) were originally expected to issue type certification for the EC175 sometime in 2013; this was formally received in January 2014.[11] In September 2015, Avicopter publically revealed their first AC352 prototype.[12]

An initial assembly line for the EC175 was established at Airbus Helicopters' Marignane facility; in 2008, it was reported that a second assembly line for the type was intended to follow within five years.[13] In April 2014, an agreement between Airbus Helicopters and Avicopter was made for the production of 1,000 EC175; lasting for 20 years, manufacturing is split half-and-half between separate assembly lines operated by the two firms.[14][15]

As of June 2014, the EC175 had the distinction of holding both the 3 km[16] and 6 km[17] time-to-climb records for its class, ratified by FAI, at about a minute per kilometre. In May 2015, a H175 was used as a demonstrator for Airbus Helicopter's low-noise helicopter instrument approach project, a world-first achieved via satellite-augmented navigation to optimise rotorcraft noise levels.[18]

By May 2015, the H175 had been certified for single-pilot operations under visual flight rules (VFR); Airbus Helicopters is studying single-pilot operations under instrument flight rules, but this is not considered to be a priority due to low demand for this functionality.[19]


View of an in-flight H175, 2013

Airbus Helicopters is responsible for the H175's main gearbox, tail rotor, avionics, autopilot, hydraulic and electrical systems, doors and transparencies. Airbus Helicopters is also the technical lead and system integrator, and built two of the three prototypes (the first and third). HAIG is responsible for the airframe, tail and intermediate gearboxes, main rotor, fuel system, flight controls and landing gear.[20] Each firm separately handles marketing, customer support, and certification efforts for the type.[21] Both the design and production of the rotorcraft made extensive use of computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM). CAD allowed Airbus Helicopters and HAIG to create a virtual mock-up, simplifying coordination between partners based 10,000 km apart.[22]

Airbus Helicopters-built H175s are powered by two 1,325 kW (1,775 shp) class, Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)-equipped Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67E turboshaft engines, which provide for a 5,000-hour time between overhaul (TBO) and on-condition maintenance.[23] Chinese-produced AS352s are equipped with two modular 1,800 shp class, dual-FADEC Ardiden 3C/WZ16 turboshaft engines, which were specifically developed by a joint partnership between Turbomeca and AVIC Engine for the rotorcraft.[21] The engines drive the rotorcraft's five-blade Spheriflex main rotor and a three-blade tail rotor. The EC175's main gearbox will incorporate two accessory gearboxes and will be de-clutchable, avoiding the cost and weight of an auxiliary power unit (APU).[24] The gears and the casing of the H175's main gearbox were developed using CATIA V5, a first for Airbus Helicopters.[2]

The H175 was designed to exceed EASA CS-29 crashworthiness requirements.[25][26] It is capable of performing full Category A dual-pilot operation; additionally, it possesses Sea State 6 capability, and can be equipped with two oversized 18-passenger life rafts and an emergency floatation system.[26] Airbus Helicopters states that the H175's noise signature is "way below" International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements.[24][27]

H175 on static display, 2009

The H175 is built for civilian and parapublic applications, its primary markets being support of the oil and gas industry and search and rescue missions. Other applicable roles include parapublic operations, homeland security, air medical services, utility missions and corporate transportation.[26] The EC175 is offered with multiple interior seating configurations, housing up to 18 passengers in an oil and gas transport configuration, 9-12 passengers in an executive layout, and 6-8 in a VIP configuration It is fitted with wide sliding doors for ease of access and oversized jettisonable windows for emergency egress. The H175 has a flat floor without any partition between the cockpit and the cabin area, which enables various flexible layouts to be adopted.[26] Either auxiliary fuel tanks or a storage area can be installed beneath the cabin floor, which can be accessed internally; a large luggage compartment externally accessible from either side is present in some configurations.[24][26]

The Helionix avionics suite is used on the H175; much of the state-of-the-art avionics are derived from those developed for the Eurocopter EC225; one such system is the Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), a 4-axis dual-duplex autopilot which is linked to the rotorcraft's Flight Management System.[20][24][26] The cockpit features a total of four 6X8-inch multi-function LCD displays, plus an optional central mission display. The H175's cockpit is night vision goggles-compatible.[26] A sensor operator's console can be installed in the main cabin area, and a chin-mounted electrical-optical sensor can be equipped.[26]

Operational history[edit]

In December 2014, the first production H175s, of the oil & gas industry model, entered service with Belgian operator Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen (NHV) for operations over the North Sea; by August 2015, the first two examples had accumulated 1,000 flight hours over 750 flights, carrying a total of 11,000 passengers, while achieving a dispatch rate in excess of 90%.[19] NHV has ordered a total of 16 H175s.[28]

It has been alleged that the People's Liberation Army intends to order a large quantity of AC352s in the next decade to replace a significant portion of their existing rotorcraft fleet, such as older Mil Mi-8s, Sikorsky S-70s, Harbin Z-8s and Harbin Z-9s.[29]

In March 2015, Bristow Group became the then-largest customer for the type, ordering a total of 17 H175s for offshore oil & gas missions.[30] In June 2015, leasing firm Milestone Aviation Group expanded the number of H175s that it had on order to 28 rotorcraft.[31] In June 2015, Russian operator UTair, who had ordered a total of 15 H175s from Eurocopter Vostok in March 2011,[32] announced that the remainder of its order had been placed on hold, this move was linked with a decline in oil prices and international sanctions placed upon Russia.[33][34]

In September 2015, it was announced that the Hong Kong Government Flying Service would become the launch customer for the Search and Rescue (SAR) variant of the H175.[35]


External video
Summary of winter certification
Documentary on H175 VIP variant
An inflight H175 performing a public demonstration
Hong Kong
United States


Original designation for Airbus Helicopters-produced rotorcraft, sold to the European and international markets.
Re-designation of the EC175. This further splits into three sub-variants, for search and rescue, oil & gas industry, and VIP roles.[35]
Original designation for HAIG-produced rotorcraft, sold within China and neighbouring nations.
Re-designation for HAIG-produced rotorcraft.[12]

Specifications (EC175)[edit]

Rearview of a H175, 2013

Data from EASA Type certificate[11] and Airbus Helicopters website[37]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 pilots
  • Capacity: 16/18 passengers
  • Length: 15.68 m (fuselage only) 18,06 m (from tip of main rotor to tip of tail rotor) ()
  • Rotor diameter: 14.80 m ()
  • Height: 3.47 m (5.34 m overall) ()
  • Disc area: 172 m² ()
  • Empty weight: 4,603 kg ()
  • Loaded weight: 7,500 kg (per type certificate) ()
  • Max. takeoff weight: 7,800 kg[38] (16,535 lb
  • Fuel capacity: 2,616 L)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67E turboshaft, 1,324 kW (1,776 shp) each


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b c "Heli Expo 2015 Preview", page 114. Helicopter International, Volume 38 Number 4 January – February 2015. ISSN 0143-1005. Archive
  2. ^ a b c d Airbus Helicopters Rotor News 75. "EC175, a star is born"
  3. ^ Warwick, Graham. "Heli-Expo 2008: Eurocopter unveils EC175, names launch customers." Flight Global. Accessed 28 February 2008.
  4. ^ "VIDEO: Meet the H Generation." Airbus Helicopters, 3 March 2015.
  5. ^ Eurocopter Rotor News 76. "The EC175 arrives on the scene"
  6. ^ Airbus Helicopters Press Release. "Major success for Eurocopter at Heli-Expo 2008: 111 signatures for its brand new EC175, 120 orders for its current range"
  7. ^ Rotorhub. "First EC175 airframe delivered to Eurocopter in China"
  8. ^ Scramble (Dutch Aviation Society) (368). January 2010. ISSN 0927-3417. 
  9. ^ "Avicopter ponders alternative engine following EC175 first flight." Flight International, 17 December 2009.
  10. ^ Lert, Frederic. "Airbus Helicopters Delivers First Two EC175s to NHV." AIN Online, 12 December 2014.
  11. ^ a b "EASA Type-certificate data sheet No. EASA.R.150 for EC175" European Aviation Safety Agency, 5 February 2014. Retrieved: 12 March 2015.
  12. ^ a b Thierry, Dubois. "Avicopter Unveils AC352 Prototype at China Helo Expo." AIN Online, 14 September 2015.
  13. ^ Thomson Financial News. "Eurocopter CEO defends buy of German company, Romania outsourcing" Forbes 30 June 2008.
  14. ^ Padfield, R. Randall. "Avicopter and Airbus Launch Joint Helicopter Production." AIN Online, 10 April 2014.
  15. ^ Spruce, Terry. "Airbus Helicopters and Avicopter sign 20 year production agreement." Corporate Jet Investor, 27 March 2014.
  16. ^ "E-1g (Helicopters: take off weight 6000 to 10000 kg) – Time to climb to a height of 3 000 m". Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 17 June 2014.
  17. ^ "E-1g (Helicopters: take off weight 6000 to 10000 kg) – Time to climb to a height of 6 000 m". Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 17 June 2014.
  18. ^ Turner, Aimee. "Airbus launches world-first green IFR procedures for helicopters." Air Traffic, 12 MAy 2015.
  19. ^ a b Huber, Mark. "Soft Launch for Airbus H175 ." AIN Online, 25 May 2015.
  20. ^ a b Aviation Week & Space Technology, 7 April 2008.
  21. ^ a b Dubois, Thierry. "Chinese Civil Helo’s Turboshaft Engine Makes First Run." AIN Online, 5 December 2013.
  22. ^ Airbus Helicopters Rotor News 66. "Immediate Results."
  23. ^ Aviation International News. "New Rotorcraft"
  24. ^ a b c d Airbus Helicopters EC175 trifold brochure, March 2008.
  25. ^ CS-29 (Large Rotorcraft). EASA, 17 November 2008.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h "The H175: Airbus Helicopters’ New Medium-Sized Twin-Engine Helicopter for demanding missions and Costeffective Operations." Airbus Helciopters, 2015.
  27. ^ "EASA Type-certificate data sheet No. EASA.R.150 for EC175, noise" European Aviation Safety Agency, 5 February 2014. Retrieved: 12 March 2015.
  28. ^ Dubois, Thierry. "NHV Logs First 1,000 Hours with Airbus Helicopters H175." AIN Onlines, 27 August 2015.
  29. ^ "Z-15 Chinese Medium Helicopter (CMH)". Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Parsons, Dan. "Service agreement key to Bristow's increased H175 order." Flight International, 5 March 2015.
  31. ^ Sprice, Terry. "Milestone signs for 28 H175 helicopters.", 15 June 2015.
  32. ^ "UTair signed for 15 EC175." Rotor, April 2011.
  33. ^ "UTair rinvia la consegna degli elicotteri H175 e Mi-171." HeliPress, 4 June 2015.
  34. ^ Gerden, Eugene. "UTair Aviation postpones deliveries of H175s and Mi-171s." Vertical, 3 June 2015.
  35. ^ a b Perry, Dominic. "Hong Kong's GFS places first order for H175 SAR variant." Flight International
  36. ^ "Helicopter Contract Award" (PDF). Hong Kong Government. 
  37. ^ EC175 Characteristics
  38. ^ 300 kg increase

External links[edit]