Airbus Helicopters H160 (formerly X4)

With no modifications to the engines power output, weak ballistic protection and the same main and torque rotors, the H-160 just promise to be another sluggish inadapted beast from AirbusM.
I’m curious how you’re coming to this conclusion?

None of the aircraft the H160 replaces have ballistic protection. It has low rotor loading, lower than attack helicopters such as the Apache/Tiger and lower than transport helicopters such as Blackhawk/NH-90. Power margins seem pretty decent based on published hover performance (9,200ft out of ground effect @ 5,670kg ISA which should meet the US Army standard of 6K/95F).

So it may not be perfect, but there doesn’t seem to be anything fundamentally wrong with the H160 design for military use. Certainly should be more successful than the US Army’s similar attempt 15 years ago (ARH-70… which was too small). And compared to what it’s replacing it should be a huge improvement.
 
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If you increase the airframe mass, what is the result of converting any civilian helicopter to military duty, the disc loading is increased and the antitorque rotor need more power or more massflow (the main rotor turns at a higher pitch to compensate for the extra mass). Without any change in the power module, only an increase in the fenestron diameter could have done that, or, like the Chinese did on their Dolphin version, replace the enclosed rotor by an open one.
Then, the canted tail is tailored to civilian usage at a lower mass. Hence, a military version should have this altered for the new parameters.

Let's put it all together:
- same power
- higher mass
- lower torque rotor efficiency

This can only result in an airfraime that is less agile (think tactical flight) and slower in most of the domain. Hence me calling it "sluggish".

Regarding ballistic protection, I am sure that 50 years after the UH-60, French soldiers would have been delighted to have at last something equivalent.
See also how tall this thing is, something not practical when you need to hide out of sight.

And then there is that nose...
 
And that nose... What the heck are that extra useless 2m of designer wet dream?

Probably just a visual illusion. Scaled against other modern designs such as the NH90 and AW169 it doesn't look that unusual.
 

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If you increase the airframe mass, what is the result of converting any civilian helicopter to military duty,

Regarding ballistic protection, I am sure that 50 years after the UH-60, French soldiers would have been delighted to have at last something equivalent.

So if they are able to keep the max TO weight to the current 6,050kg (by using some of the 2t available useful load for military equipment), your rant becomes irrelevant?

The UH-60 has no integral ballistic protection FYI... just optional add-on lightweight armor (like most helicopters) which IIRC due to the payload impact is installed only for some high-risk missions (e.g. special forces, CSAR).
 
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I believe the French have used Puma, Super Puma, and NH-90 in that role.
Thanks for the response.
perhaps I am wrong, but I was always under the impression the Puma, NH-90, Super Puma are larger than the Blackhawk and closer to the Mi-8/17?
which is why I am wondering why they never had something mid-sized like the Dauphin adapted to army use (I think France only uses it for the navy).
(for reference I consider the gazelle and fennec to be light).. so something between the gazelle and fennec... and the Puma series
 
So if they are able to keep the max TO weight to the current 6,050kg (by using some of the 2t available useful load for military equipment), your rant becomes irrelevant?

The UH-60 has no integral ballistic protection FYI... just optional add-on lightweight armor (like most helicopters) which IIRC due to the payload impact is installed only for some high-risk missions (e.g. special forces, CSAR).


This is not true. You are mixing up cabin added protection kits (Kevlar pads) marketed as such with structural provision for bullet impact resilience.
The UH-60 family had a 12.7 or 23mm at most requirements, something unique in that category.

Pads are generally heavy and mostly purposed to protect cabin crew from low calibers and shrapnels. They are not a safety ballistic system per se but more a mitigating solution to lower casualties. Pads doesn't enhance in any way your ability to fly back home after a hit. For that, your airframe structure must be strengthened, just like the UH-60 family does.

And please, refrain from being impolite. Rants doesn't quite honor the time I spent writing a detailed reply on a 24th of December.
 
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First Gendamarie to receive 10, under the Ministry of Interior order making France the first airborne law enforcement customer for the H160.


The H160s for the Gendarmerie Nationale will be equipped with a Safran Euroflir 410 electro-optical system, winching, and fast roping capabilities. The air force command centre of the Gendarmerie Nationale and Airbus Helicopters are also working closely together to develop a tailored mission management system.

cheers
 

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First one for Aeronavale , the SAR one is rolled out today

cheers
 

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Aren't those screw and washers surfacing (and exposed) from the fenestron hub cache scary enough for someone to do something soon enough?!

A close-up of one the picture above:
Screenshot_20220214_184745.jpg
 
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The 21st Century Dauphin arrives!
I am still willing to bet money we will see one in USCG colors in the coming years. I know the USCG is considering moving to an all H-60 fleet, and there certainly is a case to be made, but I have to wonder about flight hour cost.
As always, thanks to @RavenOne for the great pictures!
 
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved the H160 in July 2020 and Airbus assumed the FAA would validate the aircraft’s European type certificate in a short timeframe and without requesting major clarifications—as is standard procedure under Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) between the EU and the U.S.

“It turns out in this particular instance that the FAA has opened a lot more topics than what we expected, and those topics are sometimes quite complex, sometimes not,” Armstrong remarked. The ability to go through all these technical discussions was “severely hampered” by the Covid-related travel restrictions, he said, describing efforts to reach understanding despite having very frequent video calls with the FAA as a “relatively painful process.”

Painstaking Line-by-line Process
One of the topics the FAA decided to scrutinize concerned the aircraft’s noise profiles. “This was certainly not expected. The H160 has the lowest noise profile of any helicopter in its class,” Armstrong noted. The noise topic appears all the more intriguing since U.S. authorities regularly lament the EU’s strict noise rules for aircraft operating at the bloc’s airports in the EU-U.S. open skies joint committee.

Gradually closing the many topics has been a “painstaking line-by-line process. We are confident we are reaching the end of that convergence process,” Armstrong said. “We now have to see exactly when it [FAA type certificate validation] happens,” he added, cautioning the company must remain “humble on exact dates at this point. We are in their [FAA] hands to some extent.”

 
And that nose... What the heck are that extra useless 2m of designer wet dream?

Probably just a visual illusion. Scaled against other modern designs such as the NH90 and AW169 it doesn't look that unusual.
I think that picture give a better idea of the monstrosity of that designer* frontal appendice:

1659484218541.png

See how there is as much nose than cabin length.

*it is not an aerodynamics appendage (see how the faster S-97 has nothing like that) but a configuration choice made by the designer willingly inspiring himself from, what he said, was race cars fluid lines etc...
 
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@TomcatViP You're barking up the wrong tree.

Here's the H160 vs. AW169 vs. S-76 drawn to the same scale. There is nothing unusual about the H160's nose length, especially considering it is a larger helo with more payload and cabin space. What *is* different is the H160's overall height due to the design decision to locate the fuel tanks below the cabin floor... which of course has many advantages.
 

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@TomcatViP You're barking up the wrong tree.

Here's the H160 vs. AW169 vs. S-76 drawn to the same scale. There is nothing unusual about the H160's nose length, especially considering it is a larger helo with more payload and cabin space. What *is* different is the H160's overall height due to the design decision to locate the fuel tanks below the cabin floor... which of course has many advantages.
I don't think he's disputing that. He's not talking overall length, he's talking about the odd interaction between the glazed portion of the nose and the "tip." Rather than flowing seamlessly, they meet in such a way as to make the "schnoz" look bolted-on after the fact. It stands out a bit on an otherwise unremarkable front.
 
It's probably just an optical illusion due to the extensive nose glazing that makes the curvature of the solid part stand out more.
 
FLIR, weather radar, other electronica?
 

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On his Twitter feed he has done a graphic of what would be Tokyo Fire depart,emt as he is a firefighter.

Cheers
 

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Worlds first Airbus Helicopters ACH160 delivered to Brazil.
cheers
 

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and more photos courtesy of Helibras of the Brazilian ACH160

cheers
 

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Those are to relieve SAR tasked NH90 that will be added to the pool of French Navy NH90 in order to help raising somewhat their endemic mission rate.

NH90 doing SAR had to be maintained in special climatized and environment controlled deployable hangars. I wonder what will happen of those.
 
First H160 for Gendamarie under assembly

cheers
 

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I attended European Rotors in Cologne week ago so the third H160 prototype was on display and So here are my photos below.

cheers 7A7B9CF3-580D-473B-B672-B537313BA362.jpeg 4CB1D1C7-0EB7-4F94-B854-7F7AFEDCB3B0.jpeg B0728693-99B3-49E6-9A3E-0128348F06ED.jpeg 6CA7C260-BA39-4A01-988B-5FFAD250D1CE.jpeg 7F7786E0-68A9-48DC-ADD2-13E964E2568C.jpeg 81BE16C4-A4D7-470F-925C-00E4377F9854.jpeg 00312D7A-6CDB-4286-9AD5-D1DCA8CBCC7F.jpeg
 

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Thanks @RavenOne. Having seen it close up how do you feel about the H160 overall? (Guess it probably depends on what you’re comparing against… AS365, EC155, S-76, AW169, AW139…)
 
on the last pic, there seems to be two panels near the tail that dont sit flush with the body.
are they extra armor or something?
 
Slightly remiss of me, but here re my photos of the PHi a/c from month back attending Heli Expo 2023 in Atlanta....

cheers


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And the first usage they advert for this 6t expensive helicopter is putting speeding tickets to motorway users?!
 
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And the first usage they advert for this 6t expensive helicopter is putting speeding tickets to motorway users?!

Ok so the video is rather generic… who cares? Their mission is 100% useful. They’ll be doing intervention / fast roping to support the GIGN and other special units, much like the UK’s Dauphins for the SAS (only better - bigger cabin). Germany uses Super Pumas and EC155s for the same role, Italy uses AW139s and AB412s...
 
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Another one (and another PR fail - see how ridiculous the seating position is - probably a hasten mod?) - French president rides an H160 on its way to Le Bourget Airshow:

Screenshot_20230622_064816.jpg

Probably even less comfortable than was my student car.
 
Good to be back at Paris Air Show last week since 2019, so here are my photos of the excellent flying display and H160M HIL mock up.

cheers
 

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