German offshore flight specialist Wiking Helikopter Service GmbH has taken delivery of the first of two Airbus H145 helicopters configured for offshore use.
The two helicopters will be used to drop off harbour pilots, fly air rescue missions over the North Sea, and transport service technicians to offshore wind farms, Wiking said.
Crewed by two pilots, the aircraft can transport two three-man service teams at once to the wind farm and lower them using a winch with an adjustable arm and a capacity of 270kg.
The second aircraft is to be delivered in October 2017.
“We are very happy with the H145. It is the first Airbus Helicopters model in our fleet. This helicopter perfectly meets market requirements for hoist operations by two pilots flying to wind farms and ships in the North Sea,” said Alexander von Plato, Managing Director of Wiking Helikopter Service.
The enhanced engine performance in single-engine operation enables the H145 to bear up to 200 kilograms more payload during winch operations. The aircraft thus fulfils the regulations for transporting people by winch, Wiking said.
Furthermore, the H145 in the offshore configuration is equipped with an emergency flotation system certified for Sea State 6, weather radar, an underwater emergency egress lighting system and a floating emergency locator transmitter.
For over-water use, the H145 is capable of seating up to eight passengers in compliance with international offshore regulations.
“The H135 has long proved itself in offshore missions over the North Sea, and we’re proud that the H145 is now being used there as well,” said Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Germany.
“Servicing of wind farms in particular is a promising market with growth potential. In the medium term, we estimate the global demand in this segment to be comparable to that of the oil and gas business, meaning more than 1,000 aircraft, and we expect a market share of at least 50 percent.”