is continuing to expand its portfolio of products supporting the future of space exploration with the delivery of two new H135 helicopters to NASA
from Airbus Helicopters Inc’s facility in Columbus, Mississippi.
These aircraft, along with a third scheduled for delivery early next year, will be based at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and operated for a variety of missions, including aerial security at rocket launches, emergency medical services, research, and passenger transportation.
David Ramsey, chief of flight operations at the Kennedy Space Center, said: “As NASA looked to renew its ageing fleet of helicopters, the H135 was selected due to its performance, capabilities and ability to meet our needs as we look to the future of manned space launch. We are very pleased to now welcome it to our fleet.
“For years to come, these helicopters will not only support security and routine missions at the Kennedy Space Center, but also support our astronauts and crew as they launch important missions to the International Space Station, the moon and beyond.”
In October, one of the H135s will escort the members of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon to the historic launch pad at 39A, where it will depart for a six-month expedition to the ISS.
The helicopters will also support efforts to prepare for and execute Artemis, a planned expedition to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024.
Meanwhile, Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first five-bladed H145 to the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation. This new version of its best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter brings a new five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission helicopter, increasing the useful load by 150kg.
It received certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency in June and is now ready to take on a wide variety of missions. Norwegian Air Ambulance currently operates all 13 HEMS (helicopter emergency medical service) bases in Norway and all four bases in Denmark using a fleet of H135s and H145s.
The new version of Airbus’s best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019