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Introduction

Airbus helicopters keep the oil & gas industry operating at its optimum output. The company’s helicopters have accumulated more than 10 million flight hours in crew change missions, freight transport, medEvac, search and rescue, and logistics support to offshore platforms and land-based rigs in highly remote locations, as well as in pipeline patrols.

Aircraft

Light helicopters
Airbus Helicopters’ single-engine H125 is well suited for oil and gas support duties including pipeline patrols and light-lift cargo flights. Its reliability is proven in fast-turnaround missions, while the use of composite material for the helicopter’s airframe, rotors and main rotor head provide protection against corrosion – reducing maintenance costs.

The twin-engine H135’s exceptional maneuverability, along with its high safety level and easy cabin access, tailor this helicopter to a variety of oil and gas operations. Its simple design enables fast and easy maintenance to ensure optimal dispatch availability and reduced operating costs. As a versatile twin-engine platform, it can be equipped with emergency floats, weather/search radar and a Class-D certified external hoist; while the energy-absorbing airframe, crash-resistant seats and fuel cells enhance operational safety.

Airbus Helicopters’ twin-engine H145 is recognized for its agility and handling qualities – even in high wind conditions and the constrained operational environment of oil and gas rig landing pads. With two powerful turboshaft engines, the rotorcraft provides optimal safety during normal flight conditions and in one-engine-inoperative (OEI) scenarios. The high-set main rotor and Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor dramatically improve security on the platform. Passengers have easy access via extra-wide sliding doors on both sides of the aircraft, while rear clamshell doors facilitate the loading/unloading of stretchers, equipment and supplies.
 
Medium helicopters
The AS365 N3 Dauphin and the wide-body H155 version combine well-proven technologies and excellent performance for oil and gas missions. These twin-engine helicopters’ equipment list include a four-axis autopilot, traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS), automatic voice alarm device (AVAD), external life rafts, automatic deployable emergency locator transmitter, and a quick-access recorder for helicopter flight data management. Its composite main rotor blades are corrosion-proof, ensuring an extremely long lifetime and contributing to a low maintenance per flight hour.

Airbus Helicopters’ new H175 was developed with the oil and gas industry to meet their needs, offering outstanding performance and unmatched cost efficiency. This seven metric ton-category rotorcraft meets the latest airworthiness standards, covering both the aircraft and its new Helionix® avionics suite – which provides increased safety through reduced pilot workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy. Accommodating up to 18 passengers in comfort – with the most cabin volume per person – the H175’s in-flight environment is enhanced by very low vibration levels and a smooth ride – even at high speeds.
 
Heavy helicopters
The 11 metric ton-category H225 is a preferred choice of oil and gas operators around the globe. Integrating the latest technologies – and certified for flight in icing conditions – this helicopter is designed with a damage-tolerant rotor system and fuselage, while the state-of-the-art avionics system considerably reduces pilot workload to enhance safety.

Its main gearbox and five-blade rotor deliver the power for heavy payloads, long ranges and fast cruise speeds. The flight endurance exceeds 5 h., 30 min. with up to 19 passengers seated in a wide, air-conditioned cabin.
 

Missions

Offshore
Around the world and around the clock, Airbus Helicopters perform vital offshore oil and gas airlift duties – delivering the performance and range to service existing platforms, along with the reach to attain the increasing number of sites being located further out to sea. Its family of helicopters are deployed in the oil and gas regions of the North Sea, Western Australia, India, the Gulf of Mexico, Southeast Asia, Russia, the CIS and Western Africa.

Airbus Helicopters’ newest rotorcraft, the H175, entered North Sea service in 2014, benefitting operators with its capacity of carrying a full payload to 90 percent of the offshore installations in this region.

In a further enhancement of its capabilities, the Rig ’N Fly GPS-navigation-assisted software – first developed for use on the H225 rotorcraft – will be incorporated in the H175’s avionics suite to make approaches to, and takeoffs from, platform-based helipads simpler and therefore safer.
 
Search and rescue
Oil and gas operators rely on Airbus Helicopters’ twin-engine rotorcraft for critical search and rescue (SAR) duties, counting on their designed-in capabilities that include speed, performance, and wide cabins to allow quick change from their daily duties for such life-saving missions.

The all-weather H225 is well suited for this role, with excellent stability and highly accurate hover capabilities.

Airbus Helicopters’ H175 also is well tailored for search and rescue, with its Helionix® avionics suite and digital 4-axis autopilot providing high precision and stability for automatic transitions to hover, while enabling search modes to be entered from any flight configuration.

The lift performance of both the H175 and H225 enable a full complement of mission equipment to be incorporated for SAR operations, including radar, an electro-optic sensor turret and searchlight, while their large cabins can accommodate a dedicated operator’s station and a full range of medical equipment and litters.
 
Pipeline surveillance
The monitoring of pipelines is an important mission in maintaining the flow of oil and gas from extraction sites to distribution centers. The work demands reliable and robust aircraft that can handle rugged terrain and extreme climates.

Airbus Helicopters’ light rotorcraft families are regularly called upon for such missions, where their range, low cabin noise, low vibration levels, and operational efficiency are key advantages.
 

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