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Video - H160: The new Airbus Helicopters gem

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This is the latest from Airbus Helicopters: the H160. On the occasion of the HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando, USA, and having kept it under wraps for the last four years, the helicopter manufacturers unveiled their H160; a six metric ton helicopter.

This is the first aircraft produced under the newly named, Airbus Helicopters, and the first to carry the new designation "H" instead of the traditional letters "EC".

But what is striking when looking at is its sleek lines, are the ducted fan tail rotor (fenestron), the biplane rear stabilizer, and strangely hockey stick-like rotor blade tips. A technological innovation that allows an additional 100 kg (220 lbs) of payload compared to helicopters equipped with conventional blades, making the H160 an ‘‘eco-responsible citizen’’.

Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer - Airbus Helicopters: "The level of fuel consumption will be much lower than the current generation of helicopters: 15% to 20% less fuel consumption, less emission and lower level of noise."

Thanks to its innovative rotor blades, the external noise will be reduced by half, around three decibels. On the H160, no fewer than 68 new technologies have been patented. Made of composite materials, the helicopter is equipped with - and this is a first - electrically operated landing gear.

Equipped with the new Turbomeca, Arrano engine, the H160 can carry 12 passengers, over a maximum range of 800 kilometres (500 miles) at a speed of 300 km/h (186 mph). Its maiden flight is planned for some time during this year, and entry into service in 2018. As for the price, this has not yet been set.

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