Monday, January 30, 2017

Airbus Helo Shipments Rise Despite 'Difficult Year'

Airbus Helicopters delivered 418 rotorcraft last year, a 5 percent increase over 2015, against a market backdrop company CEO Guillaume Faury called “the most difficult year for the helicopter industry since 2008.” Results were released on Friday.

The company logged gross orders for 388 helicopters in 2016, compared to 383 in 2015. Orders booked last year include 188 light singles, 163 H135/H145 light twins and 23 Super Puma-class helicopters. Overall backlog stood at 766 helicopters at year's end. Airbus continues to maintain a 47 percent share of the world civil market for helicopters over 2,866 pounds/1,300 kg.

Meanwhile, Faury announced a variety of developments concerning new and existing programs. The new H160 medium twin is currently undergoing cold-weather testing in Canada and a third prototype will join the program early this year. Airbus Helicopters will begin taking orders for the new model this year and already has a “significant number” of letters of intent for it.

Airbus also plans to fly its Clean Sky2 compound helicopter demonstrator in late 2019 or early 2020 and plans to reveal more details about it at the Paris Air Show in June. Faury also said the company will conduct the first unmanned flights of its “City Airbus” all electric, VTOL, four-seat urban vehicle next year and manned flights beginning in 2019. Development of a full-scale vehicle will start this month in Germany.

The X6 heavy helicopter, seen as an eventual replacement to the H225, remains in the “concept phase,” with Faury characterizing it as a “long-term investment.” Faury said Airbus looks forward to “restoring trust” in the H225 following last year's North Sea crash.

(Mark Huber - AINOnline News)

No comments: