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Airbus Helicopters H135M (Eurocopter EC635)

France (1998)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Airbus Helicopters H135M (Eurocopter EC635) Lightweight Multirole Military Helicopter.

 Entry last updated on 4/11/2018; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com



  Airbus Helicopters H135M (Eurocopter EC635)  
Picture of Airbus Helicopters H135M (Eurocopter EC635) Lightweight Multirole Military Helicopter
Picture of Airbus Helicopters H135M (Eurocopter EC635) Lightweight Multirole Military Helicopter Picture of Airbus Helicopters H135M (Eurocopter EC635) Lightweight Multirole Military HelicopterPicture of Airbus Helicopters H135M (Eurocopter EC635) Lightweight Multirole Military Helicopter


The Airbus Helicopters H135M is the militarized form of the H135 series - it has found global takers in Iraq, Jordan and Switzerland.

The Airbus Helicopters H135M is a military market form of its successful H135 light utility helicopter product. The H135 was born during the 1970s under the brand label of Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) (with support from French-based Aerospatiale) as the "Bo 108". A twin-engine arrangement (digitally-controlled through FADEC) was selected with features taken from the preceding Bo 105 helicopter and the aircraft, in prototype form using a conventional, open tail rotor unit, achieved a first-flight on October 17th, 1988. The Bo 108 was only intended as a technology demonstrator but its evolution meant that it became something more.

In the latter part of the 1990s, the Fenestron tail unit was installed and more composite construction introduced. Two pre-production prototypes then followed and, with MBB now under the Eurocopter brand label, the product emerged as the "EC135". The helicopter was recorded another first-flight on February 15th, 1994 and the design was debuted publically during January of 1995. Following Type Certification, service entry occurred in 1996 and production has been ongoing since 1995. Over 1,220 units have been produced to date (2017) with global operators covering both military and civilian markets. In the former, the product became the EC635 with service entry coming in May of 1998.

With the introduction of Airbus Helicopters, the EC135 product graduated to become the "H135" and, in turn, the EC635 has evolved to become the "H135M".

Like the H135 before it, the H135M relies on a fixed, four-point landing skid undercarriage and features a Fenestron-shrouded tail rotor. The main rotor assembly is made up of a low-mounted, four-bladed system. The forward section of the fuselage is heavily windowed allowing for excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit. The helicopter is operated by one pilot and can seat up to eight passengers or two patient litters / two support staff for the MEDEVAC role.
Picture of the Airbus Helicopters H135M (Eurocopter EC635) Lightweight Multirole Military Helicopter
Picture of the Airbus Helicopters H135M (Eurocopter EC635) Lightweight Multirole Military Helicopter


Airbus Helicopters champions the H135 for its versatility in "hot and high" environments, an atmospheric condition where there is low air density caused by high elevation and high ambient temperatures. This presents a challenge to both aircraft and engines and thusly deserves attention by engineers to formulate a product capable of operating in such an environment. With this quality, the H135 has become one of Airbus Helicopters more popular products and certainly one of the more popular light utility types in service - the aircraft capable of undertaking a vast array of mission types both civilian and military in nature. The Fenestron tail rotor unit also aids in suppressing noise signatures which is an important quality to consider for urban operations.

Power for the H135M is from 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B2 turboshaft engines developing 817 horsepower (each) and driving a two-bladed main rotor and a Fenestron-shrouded tail rotor. Performance includes a maximum speed of 161 mph, a cruising speed of 158 mph and a range out to 405 miles. The aircraft's service ceiling is listed at 20,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is 2,150 feet-per-minute.

Variants of the line include the H135MT1/P2/T2 and the H135MP2+/T2+. The former were introduced from 2001 onward while the latter pair saw introduction in 2006 with refinements including strengthening. All models share two engine options - either Pratt & Whitney or Turbomeca types - to suit customer / mission performance needs.

Military operators of the H135M are few to date (January 2017) and include Iraq (Army), Jordan (Air Force), and Switzerland (Air Force).
Airbus Helicopters H135M Specifications
National Flag Graphic
France
Year: 1998
Status: Active, In-Service
Type: Lightweight Multirole Military Helicopter
Manufacturer(s): Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter - Germany) - France
Production: 250
Supported Mission Types
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
Structural
Crew: 1
Length: 33.50 ft (10.21 m)
Width: 33.46 ft (10.20 m)
Height: 11.88 ft (3.62 m)
Empty Weight: 3,241 lb (1,470 kg)
MTOW: 6,393 lb (2,900 kg)


Installed Power
2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B2 turboshaft engines developing 817 horsepower each and driving four-bladed main rotor with shrouded, multi-bladed tail rotor unit.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 162 mph (260 kph; 140 kts)
Maximum Range: 404 mi (650 km; 351 nm)
Service Ceiling: 20,013 ft (6,100 m; 3.79 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 2,150 ft/min (655 m/min)


Armament
Mission armament kits fitted as needed. Supports 12.7 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) gun pods, 20mm cannon pods, 70mm rocket pods, and Anti-Tank (AT) missiles (South African ZT3 "Ingwe" series).

Operators List
Iran; Jordan; Switzerland

Series Model Variants
• H135M - Base series deisgnation under Airbus Helicopters
• EC635 - Base Series Designation under Eurocopter
• EC635 T1 - Model of 2001; Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 engines.
• EC635 P2 - PW206B2 engines
• EC635 T2 - Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 engines
• EC635 P2+ - Model of 2006; based on H135P2+ with airframe strengthening; PW206B2 engines.
• EC635 T2+ - Model of 2006; based on H135T2+ with airframe strengthening; Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 engines.


Supported Weapon Systems
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft machine gun pod
Graphical image of an aircraft cannon pod
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-tank guided missile
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod


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