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Airbus Helicopters H135 (Eurocopter EC135)

Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)

Airbus Helicopters H135 (Eurocopter EC135)

Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



Over 1,000 of the Airbus Helicopters H135 light utility systems have been manufactured since service introduction in 1996.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: France
YEAR: 1996
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Airbus Helicopters (Formerly Eurocopter / Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm, MBB - Germany) - France
PRODUCTION: 1,000
OPERATORS: Argentina; Austria; Australia; Brazil; Canada; Croatia; Czech Republic; Gabon; Germany; Ireland; Japan; Lithuania; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom; Turkey; United States
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Airbus Helicopters H135 (Eurocopter EC135) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 33.46 feet (10.2 meters)
WIDTH: 33.46 feet (10.2 meters)
HEIGHT: 11.52 feet (3.51 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 3,208 pounds (1,455 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 6,415 pounds (2,910 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 turboshaft engines developing 633 horsepower each OR 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B turboshaft engines developing 621 horsepower each and driving four-bladed main rotor and shrouded multi-bladed tail rotor.
SPEED (MAX): 180 miles-per-hour (290 kilometers-per-hour; 157 knots)
RANGE: 395 miles (635 kilometers; 343 nautical miles)
CEILING: 20,013 feet (6,100 meters; 3.79 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,500 feet-per-minute (457 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



None.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• H135 - Revised designation under Airbus Helicopters brand label.
• EC135 - Original Series Designation
• EC135 P1 - 2 x Pratt * Whitney Canada PW206B engines of 621 horsepower each.
• EC135 T1 - 2 x Turbomeca Arrius 2B1 / 2B1A / 2B1A1 engines of 583 horsepower each.
• EC135 P2 - PW206B2 engines of 621 horsepower each
• EC135 T2 - Arrius 2B2 engines of 606 horsepower each
• EC135 P2+ (EC135 P2i) - PW206B2 engines of 667 horsepower each.
• EC135 T2+ (EC135 T2i) - Arrius 2B2 engines of 634 horsepower each.
• EC135 P2+ (EC135 P2e) - Increased MTOW
• EC135 T2+ (EC135 T2e) - Increased MTOW
• EC135 P3 - PW206B3 engines of 708 horsepower each
• EC135 T3 - Arrius 2B2Plus engines of 660 horsepower each.
• EC635 (H135M) - Militarized variant
• TH-135 - Military trainer variant


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Airbus Helicopters H135 (Eurocopter EC135) Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).  Entry last updated on 6/22/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Seeking to succeed its successful, yet aging, line of Bo 105 light utility, twin-engine helicopters, the Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) "EC135" was born from the Bo 108 prototype and has become a market success in its own right. The Bo 108, originally headed by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) of West Germany, was drawn up as a technology demonstrator becoming something of an evolved form of the earlier Bo 105. A first-flight was recorded on February 15th, 1994 and service introduction followed in 1996 with over 1,000 being built since 1995. The militarized variant has become the "EC635" product detailed elsewhere on this site.

The Bo 108 began as a test program through and through. Relying on proven facets of the Bo 105, this gave engineers the freedom to incorporate smaller revisions to the overall design and led to the incorporation of a hingeless main rotor assembly, broadened use of composite construction, a more streamlined transmission arrangement, digital avionics fit in the cockpit and a bearingless conventional tail rotor unit. Power came from 2 x Allison 250-C20R-3 turboshaft engines seated over the passenger cabin. The front of the aircraft was heavily glazed as in the Bo 108 and a fixed landing skid acted as the undercarriage.

By early 1991, the Bo 108 program proved its worth and led to MBB pushing the design to a market product stage. It was also decided to rely on a different engine fit - be it the French Turbomeca "Arrius" series or a turboshaft offered by American-based Pratt & Whitney (PW206). A second prototype went airborne on June 5th, 1991 with a pair of Arrius engines in place.

The emergence of the Eurocopter brand label saw MBB and Aerospatiale both merged under it and, perhaps most important to the new helicopter program, this provided engineers unfettered access to the Aerospatiale-designed "Fenestron" shrouded tail rotor. In this arrangement, a multi-bladed unit sat within a fixed housing buried within the vertical tail fin promising reduced noise levels and optimal efficiency at the cost of complexity. With that, the Bo 108 was revised with the tail unit technology and given the new Eurocopter designation of "EC135". First flight of this product came on February 15th, 1994 and certification followed in June of 1996. Since both of the aforementioned engine fits proved successful in testing, both were offered to market customers in separate variants.

Like other helicopters of this weight class, the EC135 went on to find service careers in civilian, governmental and military circles around the world. Military operators included Australia, Brazil, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, and Spain. Police and government security forces also took to the type in considerable numbers as showcased from its usage in the skies over Argentina and Australia to Turkey and the United States.

Several variants of the EC135 base design have been realized led by the initial EC135 P1 with its Pratt & Whitney engines of 621 horsepower each. The EC135 T1 fits the Arrius engine of 583 horsepower each and these have been followed by EC135 P2 and EC135 T2 with uprated engines from PW and Turbomeca respectively. Modern production versions carry the distinguishing "+" in their designation (i.e. "EC135 P2+") and the more powerful models are EC135 P3 and EC135 T3. A military training model is available as the TH-135 (based on the EC135 T2+) and the formal military model is the evolved EC635 / H135M, this offering originally developed against a Portuguese Army requirement.

The Eurocopter name is now a subsidiary of Airbus Group which uses Airbus Helicopters as its helicopter branch brand label. As such, the EC135 is now refered to as the H135.




PROGRAM UPDATES

May 2016 - it was announced that Airbus Helicopters would provide twenty-nine H135 series helicopters to the UK's Defense Helicopter Flying School through the Ascent consortium. This deal also adds three H145 series helicopters.

June 2017 - Work is underway to allow for local Chinese production of the H135 product. These are intended to serve police and medical services in the country.

February 2018 - Airbus has delivered it 1,300th example of the H135 helicopter.
MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (180mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
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  MSK
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  TKY
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  SYD
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Airbus Helicopters H135's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1000
1000

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue