The Airbus Helicopters H125 is a single-engine light utility helicopter, also known as the AS350. It was first introduced in 1976, and since then has been one of the most popular helicopters in the world. It is used for a wide range of missions, from passenger transport to search-and-rescue, to aerial photography and surveillance.
Airbus Helicopters decided to manufacture the H125 due to its versatility and low operating costs. It was designed to meet the needs of both private and commercial customers, with a spacious cabin and large cargo area. The aircraft is powered by a single Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 engine, which is known for its reliability and fuel efficiency. It has a maximum cruising speed of 155 knots and an endurance of up to four hours.
The H125 has gone through several modifications over the years to improve its performance. In 2010, Airbus Helicopters introduced the H125M variant, which featured an upgraded engine and a number of other improvements. The aircraft has also been fitted with various safety features, such as a crashworthy fuel system and a four-axis autopilot system.
Despite its popularity, the H125 has had its fair share of safety issues over the years. In 2014, an H125 crashed in the French Alps, killing all seven passengers on board. This led to a temporary grounding of all H125s in France, as well as an investigation into the cause of the accident.
The H125 is unique in that it is one of the few helicopters to use the Fenestron tail rotor system, which is designed to reduce noise and vibration. It is also equipped with a fully articulated main rotor system, which provides increased stability and control in high-altitude environments. In addition, the aircraft features a range of other features and technologies, such as an integrated avionics suite, a digital cabin management system, and a comprehensive maintenance program.
In conclusion, the Airbus Helicopters H125 is an incredibly versatile and reliable aircraft, and is used by a wide range of customers around the world. Despite some safety issues, the aircraft continues to be a popular choice due to its low operating costs and the range of innovative features and technologies that it offers.