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Airbus Helicopters MRH90 Taipan


Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter


Australia | 2016



"Australia is expected to take on forty-seven MRH-90 Taipan utility helicopters that will serve in both the Army and Navy services."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/30/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
For decades the Australian military relied on the ubiquitous Bell UH-1 "Huey" helicopter line and thought (and funding) was finally given to adopt a more modern product - this became the MRH-90 "Taipan" (MRH = "Multi-Role Helicopter") based on the NHIndustries NH90 series. The NH90 serves in the medium-lift role and can undertake many mission types for military and civilian industries. Nearly 250 have been produced (2015) with service seen through the French, Italian and Finnish armies. The helicopter is an original product from NHIndustries (NHI), the helicopter arm of what was once Eurocopter - now falling under the Airbus Helicopters brand label.

For the Australian military the Taipan fulfills a utility role and will serve both its Army and Navy forces. An early-batch order in 2005 called for twelve helicopters to replace UH-1 models and a 2006 follow-on order totaled 34 systems to succeed outgoing Sikorsky UH-60 "Black Hawk" and Westland "Sea King" helicopters. The Australian military plans to procure no more than 47 MRH-90s in all with four to be produced in Europe and the remainder in Australia by Airbus Helicopters subsidiary Australian Aerospace of Brisbane. Forty units are set aside for Army use and six are to be used by the Navy. While the original order was for 46 total aircraft, a renegotiated contract of 2013 yielded the Australian government one extra airframe which will be set aside for training duty.

The MRH-90 has had a rocky development, forcing revisions as evaluations were being undertaken. Since 2010 the helicopter was repeatedly showing up on the Australian government's "shame list" for its many problems and delayed service entry. While first deliveries came in 2007, final examples will not be on hand until 2016 or 2017 - over ten years since the initial order was placed. For cost reasons, the Army will still be forced to use their Black Hawks until 2018. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) was finally had in 2014 by the Army with the Navy following a year later.

The MRH-90 has experience issues with object ingestion in its turboshaft (Rolls-Royce) engines despite the fact that protective screens were in place (the screens were not suitable for the debris available in the Australian landscape). Additionally, windshield cracking was a constant which resulted in a special film being applied for added strength and a new installation procedure being drawn up. In 2010 a single engine failure occurred to an MRH-90 by Adelaide which caused a fleet grounding during the review process (shaft bowing was blamed). A stronger cabin floor was then ordered when it was found that the original lightweight design suffered under the stress of equipment-laden Australian infantry. Beyond other scheduled additions (rappelling equipment, door guns, etc...) it appears that the darkest days of the MRH-90 program are behind it.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Airbus Helicopters MRH90 Taipan Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter.
2 x Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322-01/9 turboshaft engines developing 2,230 horsepower each and driving a four-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.
Propulsion
186 mph
300 kph | 162 kts
Max Speed
19,685 ft
6,000 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
497 miles
800 km | 432 nm
Operational Range
1,575 ft/min
480 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Airbus Helicopters MRH90 Taipan Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter.
3
(MANNED)
Crew
53.0 ft
16.15 m
O/A Length
53.5 ft
(16.30 m)
O/A Width
17.2 ft
(5.25 m)
O/A Height
14,110 lb
(6,400 kg)
Empty Weight
23,369 lb
(10,600 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Airbus Helicopters MRH90 Taipan Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter .
Typically none. Door-mounted machine guns for local defense.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Airbus Helicopters MRH90 Taipan family line.
MRH-90 "Taipan" - Base Series Designation; modifications added to suit Australian military requirements.
NH-90 - Original model that the MRH-90 is based on.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Airbus Helicopters MRH90 Taipan. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 47 Units

Contractor(s): Airbus Helicopters / NH Industries - France
National flag of Australia

[ Australia (planned) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (186mph).

Graph Average of 150 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
47
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Airbus Helicopters MRH90 Taipan
Image from official Airbus Helicopters press release.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE
ANTI-SHIP
MEDEVAC
SEARCH & RESCUE
TRANSPORT
SPECIAL FORCES
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Airbus Helicopters MRH90 Taipan Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter appears in the following collections:
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