German air rescue and ambulance provider DRF Luftrettung placed an order for 15 H145s, making them the largest operator of the H145.
Show highlights included the increased power of the H125 that will enable operators to lift up to an additional 190 kg (419 lbs), Shell Aircraft confirming their interest in using the H160 for offshore transportation missions, and Metro Aviation ordering an additional 12 new EC145e helicopters.
Customs and Border Protection will add 16 new H125 helicopters to their fleet, with deliveries beginning later this year from Airbus’ production facility in Columbus, Miss. Another H125 order was signed with Ascent Helicopters in Western Canada.
“At Airbus Helicopters, we are constantly focused on finding ways to help our customers better execute their missions,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “We are honoured by the trust that our first-time and returning customers place in our aircraft and support solutions, which has been confirmed once again at this year’s Heli-Expo.”
Airbus received an order for three new H135s from NASA, marking the first-time partnership between the U.S. space program and Airbus Helicopters. The agency will use the aircraft for a variety of missions, including missile launch security at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, emergency medical services and qualified personnel transport.
Reinforcing their commitment to ensuring the highest level of safety available, tourism operator Maverick Helicopters announced it will retrofit its entire fleet of 34 EC130 B4 helicopters with the Airbus Crash Resistant Fuel System.
On the support and services side, Airbus secured numerous global support contracts, including Papillon, Heliportugal, and DRF Luftrettung who extended its HCare Smart contract for another eight years. These plans enable customers to increase availability and mission success, optimize their costs, lower the maintenance burden, enhance safety and sustain the value of their assets. Airbus also unveiled its new collaborative AirbusWorld customer portal and an online Marketplace making e-commerce practices from the consumer world available to Airbus customers. Additionally, the company has nearly doubled the number of helicopters now sharing flight and maintenance data with the company in just one year.
Also announced at the show, Airbus’ global helicopter fleet reached 100 million flight hours. To all the pilots, operators, engineers, technicians, mechanics, ground crew, and passengers who helped make this milestone possible, #thanks100million.
Airbus adds 250 more helicopters to global Support contracts
Airbus Helicopters added 250 helicopters to HCare Smart and Infinite contracts in 2019, increasing to 2,250 the number of aircraft now covered by a global HCare material management contract. This means 19% of Airbus Helicopters’ worldwide fleet is now covered by HCare.
New aircraft added at Heli-Expo 2020, all with HCare Smart, were from Papillon (21 H130s) and Heliportugal (9 H125s). Papillon’s entire fleet of H130s will now be covered by HCare. Also at the show, DRF Luftrettung signed an eight-year extension of HCare Smart for its entire fleet of nearly 60 helicopters.
“The motivation behind our HCare support contracts is to let our customers focus on one thing only: their missions. We aim to take care of everything else, ensuring the highest levels of fleet availability, at the most competitive price. This helps our customers control budgets and stabilize costs, while lowering the administrative burden,” said Christoph Zammert, Executive Vice President of Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters.
Other customers added in 2019 include PHI Health (H125s), Boston Med Flight (HCare Smart), Superior Helicopters (HCare Infinite), and STARS air ambulance (HCare Smart), among others. In North America alone, 78 helicopters joined HCare last year. And of the 58 H225s repurposed in 2019, more than 75% of those already in operation are covered by HCare.
Airbus Helicopters’ range of HCare material management services starts out with Easy (on-request catalogue services) and Smart (four by-the-hour options), before progressively building up to Infinite (full availability commitments).
The HCare fleet is composed of almost every helicopter in the Airbus range for missions ranging from emergency medical services and aerial work, to oil & gas, tourism and military operations. Around 95 percent of HCare Smart customers opt to extend their contracts with Airbus.
HCare is Airbus Helicopters’ support and service offer, providing superior customer service support in five domains: Material Management; Helicopter Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and upgrades; Technical Support; Training & Flight Operations and Connected Services. As part of this commitment to constantly support customers around the world, experts are available on-call 24/7.
More than 1,000 helicopters now sharing data with Airbus
Connected helicopters nearly double in one year, now representing 165+ operators
Enhanced digitization and analytics offer facilitates adoption
Four new maintenance information system (MIS) providers agree to connect their systems to Airbus (ADMS, IXARYS, 2MoRO and 135ACM)
Anaheim, 29 January 2020 – In just over one year, Airbus Helicopters has nearly doubled the number of helicopters now sharing flight and maintenance data with the company. This progress advances Airbus’ creation of a connected helicopters ecosystem in which data from disparate sources is shared and analysed, helping operators make sense of their data for business value.
“Collection of such valuable data is made possible thanks to our strategy of building digital solutions, such as HUMS, digital log cards and digital logbooks, which enable customers to digitize their operations. Once our operators are connected to Airbus systems, we can then begin sharing data, applying analytics, and generating data-driven recommendations that reduce the maintenance burden, control costs, enhance safety and increase availability,” said Christoph Zammert, Executive Vice President of Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters.
An increasing number of customers are seeing this value, with Hungarian Air Ambulance being the latest addition, opting to digitize its operation using an extensive set of Airbus digital solutions and analytics. The emergency-medical-services operator also becomes the first customer for Flight Analyser analytics, which supports operational safety by analyzing aircraft and flight data post-flight to identify risks before they lead to incidents or accidents.
Helicopter maintenance data is another crucial data type essential for analytics, which is why Airbus has initiated agreements with maintenance information system (MIS) providers allowing their MIS databases to be connected with Airbus systems. Such agreements enable real-time maintenance data collection. At Heli-Expo 2020, four more MIS providers – ADMS, IXARYS, 2MoRO and 135ACM – signed agreements with Airbus Helicopters, joining MRX Systems, Rusada, Ramco, Traxxall, Lundin Software and Aircraft Maintenance Systems, who signed last year.
One analytics service already bearing fruit is Flyscan predictive maintenance. Since its launch in 2017, Flyscan is today analyzing the HUMS data of around 100 helicopters. On average, these operators report receiving an average of six maintenance recommendations per aircraft per year, enabling them to avoid two AOG situations per year – a number Airbus expects to rise with time. For some operators, this can represent a savings of 35,000 euro per day of AOG avoided.
Moreover, the predictive domain of Flyscan has recently expanded to include additional data types beyond vibrations (dynamic components health monitoring), such as usage data, flight parameters (from flight data recorders), and avionics codes.
Finally, Airbus has added a new modular compliance monitoring system to its portfolio. Known as Flightastic, this digital platform offers a pilot logbook, qualifications management, flight activity management and compliance monitoring all in one. It will be available for demo at the show.
Airbus launches new collaborative customer portal and online marketplace
Keycopter relaunches as AirbusWorld Online. Marketplace opens in the United States and Europe
Airbus Helicopters has unveiled a number of improvements to its digital services ecosystem based on feedback from customers, including the new collaborative AirbusWorld customer portal and an online Marketplace making e-commerce practices from the consumer world available to Airbus customers.
The new collaborative portal, which replaces Keycopter, offers a simplified and streamlined navigation and user experience, integration of the global network of service and training centres, and new functionalities such as an online catalogue and online communities to foster open dialogue among operators and with Airbus Helicopters. AirbusWorld is also an integral part of the Connected Services end-to-end digital solution, enabling customers to manage their data and consult a growing number of Airbus analytics on the platform.
The new online Marketplace brings B2C e-commerce practices to the helicopter industry. An evolution of the current eOrdering service of AirbusWorld, the Marketplace proposes a wide selection of high-demand products and parts – tools & ground support equipment, chemicals, hardware and more – to customers via specialised vendors. Benefits for customers include a more diverse worldwide product inventory, including non-Airbus Helicopters products; a one- stop-shop approach at one online location; a more competitive offer; faster turnaround times with delivery direct to customer premises; and the ability to choose from a wider range of quantities.
At Heli-Expo, four U.S.-based companies – Wesco Aircraft, Boysen Aerospace, PPG Aerospace and Addev Materials – signed vendor agreements with Airbus, making them official vendors of these supplies on the Airbus Helicopters marketplace in North America.
“Striving for customer centricity in everything we do, using digitalisation as a key lever, is one of our driving priorities at Airbus Helicopters,” said Christoph Zammert, Executive Vice President of Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters. “We aim to achieve this by listening to customers and involving them in the development of new solutions that address their need for continued, efficient fleet operations while keeping costs under control. Our new customer portal and online marketplace reflect this ambition.”
Other improvements launched with AirbusWorld include the mobile version of the technical request service and the web & mobile version of the technical publication reader, known as ORION, which is now more performant, intuitive and fully accessible offline.
More than 1,000 helicopters now sharing data with Airbus
Airbus helicopters on present at Heli-Expo