By Chinedu Eze
Airbus Helicopters recently demonstrated flight of its H175 helicopter at the EAN hangar of the Murtala Muhammed International airport, Lagos, as part of efforts towards promoting fuel efficient aircraft in Nigeria.
Vice President and Head of Operational Marketing, Airbus helicopters, Regis Magnac at a briefing during the demo event, said the H175 has the ability to perform optimally above others because of the size of its fuel tank.
He said apart from Nigeria, the aircraft, which is worth more than $10 million, has debuted in Ghana and will also be demonstrated in Ivory Coast, adding that aircraft can be used for search and rescue, apart from oil and gas offshore business.
Designed with the support of oil companies and helicopters operators, the H175 offers cost competitiveness, performance and new standards of safety and comfort.
Magnac said this aircraft is perfectly suited for oil and gas operators in Nigeria, adding that the 7-ton class H175 was developed by Airbus Helicopters as its new-generation medium-sized rotorcraft, certified in accordance with the latest and most demanding regulatory requirements.
He said the benefits of the helicopter include enhanced flight safety, more volume per seat for passenger comfort, mission versatility, simplified maintenance, and cost effectiveness to match customer expectations.
“Within its class, the H175 offers the best operating range in relation to the number of passengers. With 16 passengers aboard in an oil and gas configuration, it can fly to distances of 140 nautical miles (332KM), increasing to nearly 200 nautical miles (435 KM) when 12 passengers are carried in a long range configuration, with no auxiliary fuel tank required. In a higher density configuration, it can carry as many as 18 passengers up to 105 nautical miles (269 KM),” he said.
In terms of comfort, Magnac noted that the helicopter’s fast cruise speed, large windows, and low sound and vibration levels create a comfortable passenger journey offshore.