This week marks the entry of Airbus’ medium-sized H160 helicopter into the oil and gas market, as Airbus has announced Shell has signed a support contract with U.S. offshore helicopter operator PHI to operate four H160s in the Gulf of Mexico. The H160’s entry into the segment promises “new levels of safety, comfort, and schedule reliability in offshore operations,” Airbus says. Along with offshore transportation, the H160 is designed to support private and business aviation, public service, and helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) applications.
A Unique Partnership
Airbus says as part of a pioneering, unique partnership between itself, Shell, and PHI, it will provide PHI one H160 before final deliveries as part of a year-long route-proving program. That will enable PHI to become familiar with the H160’s advanced features and alleviate typical entry-into-service challenges. PHI, which also supports onshore mining, air medical, technical, and other industries, will base the H160 in Houma, Louisiana. PHI already has a large fleet of Airbus H125 and H135 helicopters used in emergency medical service, pipeline survey, and shuttle applications.
The H160 has a 475-nautical-mile (880-kilometer) range, and can fly up to 12 passengers. Residing between the H145 and H175 in Airbus’ medium class, the H160 accounts for nearly 70 patents that the aerospace company says make the copter the world’s most technologically advanced. The H160 is equipped with dual Arrano engines from Safran Helicopter Engines. Compared to the previous engine class used for identical operations, Airbus says, the engines help the H160 to reduce fuel consumption by 15%.
“The emissions reductions that the H160 provides help us continue to deliver crude and natural gas with the smallest carbon footprint of our global deepwater portfolio, and are another important step to meeting our goal of zero net emissions by 2050,” says Shell’s General Manager of Supply Chain Deepwater, Viet Van.
Find Your Airbus Helicopter
Posted On: 2/15/2021 3:56:45 PM