Airbus Helicopters H155 (Eurocopter EC155) - France, 1999
Detailing the development and operational history of the Airbus Helicopters H155 (Eurocopter EC155) Medium-Lift, Multi-role Twin-Engine Helicopter.
Entry last updated on 1/16/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
Developed from the Eurocopter Dauphin, the Airbus Helicopters H155 features more internal space.
The Airbus Helicopters H155 series five-ton helicopter was born under the Aerospatiale designation of "AS365" and its general design emerged from the successful military-minded AS365 "Dauphin" then-produced by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters). Work on the civilian market-minded form began in 1996 and a prototype first-flew on June 17th, 1997. A production-quality model went airborne the following year and, after being granted certification, deliveries of the H155 commenced in early-to-mid 1998 with official service introduction reached in 1999.
The product first appeared under the Eurocopter brand label as the "EC155". The helicopter is now known under the "H155" designator by Airbus Helicopters.
First-production quality models arrived in the EC155B variant and these were powered by 2 x Turbomeca "Arriel" 2C1 series turboshaft engines. Then followed the EC155B1 which incorporated more powerful engines in the Arriel 2C2 turboshaft series of 935 horsepower output, improving performance, particularly in "Hot & High" environments. There was an increase to Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) as well which furthered broadened the value of the helicopter.
At its core, the EC155 has been given a well-streamlined fuselage, consistent with other Eurocopter designs, sporting a heavily-glazed frontal section offering excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit. The airframe tapers rearward to form the tail stem housing the drive shaft for powering the tail rotor unit. The tail rotor is set within a Fenestron shroud, the shroud integrated into the tail fin itself. Horizontal planes are set about the tail sides of the tail and each plane features small vertical fins. Over the roof of the passenger cabin (and atop the dual engine layout) is a five-bladed composite main rotor. Access to the front seats of the aircraft is by way of hinged, automobile-style doors for the pilot and one passenger. Sliding doors service the passenger cabin space. The undercarriage is wheeled and wholly-retractable to help preserve aerodynamic efficiency in flight.
By design, the H155 is made for various civil aviation-minded industries including VIP / corporate passenger ferrying, oil rig support, MEDEVAC (emergency medical services), Search & Rescue (SAR) and general security / law enforcement.
Performance for the B1 includes a maximum speed of 200 miles per hour, a range out to 615 miles (ferry) and a service ceiling up to 15,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is 1,750 feet per minute.
To date (2017) the H155 is being operated by China (police), Germany (police), Hong Kong (government), Thailand (police), the United Kingdom (Bristow Helicopters) and the United States (civil).
The H155 formed the basis for the experimental Eurocopter "X3" product (since completed) detailed elsewhere on this site.