Airbus H130 – Proof of a Good Pedigree
SA Flyer Magazine|March 2022
Some helicopter designs are so good that not only are they a great success in their own right – but they spawn a series of variants. One such is the Airbus H130, which is a very successful outgrowth of the original AS350 Ecureuil ‘Squirrel’.
By Guy Leitch with Tami van Heerden and Howard Curran
Airbus H130 – Proof of a Good Pedigree

The excellent DNA of the basic AS350 Ecureuil allowed it to grow into purpose-specific designs which, thanks to the AS350 pedigree, are still the best of breed. Realising that there was a large demand for helicopters with a large cabin for sight-seeing, the H130 was introduced in 1999 (named the EC130) as a wide-body version of the AS350.

The H130 was an immediate success and it continued with minimal changes until 2011 when in response to customer surveys, Eurocopter upgraded it as the H130 T2. The T2 featured active vibration control, a more powerful engine, upgraded gearbox, an improved environmental control system and a host of other improvements.

The big thing is the cabin. Compared to the AS350, the H130 provides a much wider and larger cabin volume. It has the largest cabin of any single engine helicopter in its class, with a claimed 54 per cent greater unobstructed space and 143 per cent more baggage space than its natural competitor – the Bell 407.

The larger cabin takes 13 knots from the AS350’s cruise speed, but this is a happy trade-off for sightseeing operations. In exchange for those 13 knots, the six passengers get an unsurpassed room with a view and it excels at creature comforts, thanks to its internal volume and a smooth and quiet ride.

This story is from the March 2022 edition of SA Flyer Magazine.

Subscribe to Magzter GOLD to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 8,000+ magazines and newspapers.

This story is from the March 2022 edition of SA Flyer Magazine.

Subscribe to Magzter GOLD to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 8,000+ magazines and newspapers.

MORE STORIES FROM SA FLYER MAGAZINEView All
WORLD AIRCRAFT SALES STAY HEALTHY
SA Flyer Magazine

WORLD AIRCRAFT SALES STAY HEALTHY

The International Aircraft Dealers Association’s 2022 Third Quarter Market Report documents a flourishing resale market for business aircraft with a balanced outlook for the next six months.

time-read
1 min  |
November 2022
FLYSAFAIR EXPANDS REGIONALLY
SA Flyer Magazine

FLYSAFAIR EXPANDS REGIONALLY

FlySafair has received approval to operate international flights beyond South Africa’s borders.

time-read
1 min  |
November 2022
BOEING MAX 7’S APPROVAL DELAYED
SA Flyer Magazine

BOEING MAX 7’S APPROVAL DELAYED

The FAA is asking more questions about Boeing’s 737 Max 7 aircraft, increasing the likelihood that the company will be unable to complete the certification process by late December and have to undertake a costly redesign.

time-read
1 min  |
November 2022
FACE TO FACE JAMES GELDENHUYS
SA Flyer Magazine

FACE TO FACE JAMES GELDENHUYS

Nedbank’s Aircraft Finance head James Geldenhuys answers Guy Leitch’s questions about the state of post Covid aviation finance in Africa.

time-read
4 mins  |
November 2022
THE COVID ADVENTURE CONTINUES - HYENAS OF THE LIMPOPO
SA Flyer Magazine

THE COVID ADVENTURE CONTINUES - HYENAS OF THE LIMPOPO

Smuggling of cigarettes, contraband, vehicles, humans and equipment to and from Zimbabwe into South Africa through illegal crossing points along the Limpopo River has become a normal daily business, but increased dramatically from the beginning of April 2020 when South African lockdown regulations banned cigarette sales.

time-read
3 mins  |
November 2022
FLYING A NAVION RANGEMASTER FROM LAGOS TO NAIROBI
SA Flyer Magazine

FLYING A NAVION RANGEMASTER FROM LAGOS TO NAIROBI

Laura McDermid continues her stories of Iris McCallum’s flying exploits.

time-read
5 mins  |
November 2022
WHY DO WE NEED FIGHTER AIRCRAFT?
SA Flyer Magazine

WHY DO WE NEED FIGHTER AIRCRAFT?

With the South African Air Force’s Gripen fleet steadily returning to operational status after a year-long grounding as a result of budget cuts and delays in negotiating anew supportcontract, there were once again claims by politicians, journalists, civil society, and members of the public that the country has no need for fighter aircraft at all.

time-read
4 mins  |
November 2022
HUGH’S FIRST FLIGHT EVER
SA Flyer Magazine

HUGH’S FIRST FLIGHT EVER

Some of my friends say that am a slow reader and a late developer. Maybe they are right, but I find that when I read something, I tend to remember it better than some of the high-speed readers of my acquaintance do, and when, a bit later in life than some of my contemporaries, I spot some new enthusiasm I tend to fall for it, big time.

time-read
5 mins  |
November 2022
FLYING FOR FREEDOM
SA Flyer Magazine

FLYING FOR FREEDOM

AS THE FOUNDER and driving force behind his registered and approved non-profit organisation, Flying For Freedom SA (FFFSA), Tokkie Botes has donated over 1,000 hours of flying in his Bell 206 to the service of conservation in Southern Africa.

time-read
1 min  |
November 2022
AVIATION COMPANY PROFILES GUIDE 2023
SA Flyer Magazine

AVIATION COMPANY PROFILES GUIDE 2023

AVIATION COMPANY PROFILES GUIDE

time-read
3 mins  |
November 2022