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Airbus Helicopters H130 (EC130)

Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)

France | 2001

"Introduced in 2001 under the Eurocopter label, the EC130 now serves as the H130 under Airbus Helicopters."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/14/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Airbus Helicopters H130 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) fills the market gap between the H120 "Colibri" and H135 platforms. This class of helicopter is capable of taking on a myriad of roles to serve various industries. With some 700 of the series completed to date (2021), the H130 operates under the flags of global operators covering law enforcement, environmental, security, touring, MEDEVAC, and Search & Rescue (SAR) services from Australia and Bangladesh to Switzerland and the United States.

The H130 was an original development of Eurocopter and arrived onto the scene under the "EC130" designation before the company's absorption into Airbus. The EC130/H130 is a further development of the proven and globally popular Eurocopter AS350 "Ecureuil" / "AStar" line introduced back in 1975 (over 3,500 units produced).

Like other LUHs from Eurocopter, the H130 sports a "Fenestron" shrouded tail rotor unit. While more complex than traditional, exposed tail rotors, this arrangement offers reduced noise generation and protects the rotor unit from ingestion of foreign objects. The system is used as an anti-torque device for the vehicle.

The helicopter as a whole takes on a sleek, bullet-like shape. The cockpit section is rounded and showcases large window panels for optimal viewing. Seating is side-by-side and the instrument panel is relatively clean and uncluttered with a focus on pertinent systems and performance management. Conventional control sticks are seated between the knees of either pilot position with a shared collective control handle in between. The standardized avionics suite includes a Vehicle and Engine Multi-Function Display (VEMD) system as well as First Limit Indicator (FLI) unit. The undercarriage is a simple four-point skid assembly reducing complexity and maintenance of the compact machine even further.

Beyond the two forward seating positions, the cabin can house an additional four passengers in some comfort. VIP models introduce the usual perks and creature comforts consistent with the VIP transport role.

The engine (with Full Authority Digital Engine Control - FADEC) is mounted atop the cabin and drives a three-bladed main unit with the cylindrical exhaust port protruding from the rear of the mounting. The powerplant is a Turbomeca Arriel 2 series turboshaft engine offering 848 horsepower to drive the main rotor / tail rotor arrangement. Performance specs include a never-exceed-speed of 178 miles-per-hour, a cruising speed of 150 mph, a range out to 380 miles, and a service ceiling of 23,000 feet. Rate-of-climb reaches 1,800 feet-per-minute.

Variants of the line include the original H130 B4 launch model, the H130 T2 with uprated Arriel 2D engine (thus enhancing performance and overall capabilities), and the VIP-minded ACH130.

Key marketed qualities of the H130 are its proven pedigree, reliability, noise signature, and ease of maintenance - all this atop a very versatile frame.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

January 2021 - An Airbus Helicopters H130 has been outfitted to serve as a flying testbed/laboratory for the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) program, set to test out various flight safety systems as well as a hybrid-electric powerplant.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Airbus Helicopters H130 B4 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
1 x Turbomeca Arriel 2B1 turboshaft engine developing 848 horsepower driving three-bladed main rotor unit and Fenestron-shrouded tail rotor unit.
186 mph
300 kph | 162 kts
Max Speed
22,999 ft
7,010 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
379 miles
610 km | 329 nm
Operational Range
1,800 ft/min
549 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Airbus Helicopters H130 B4 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
35.1 ft
10.70 m
O/A Length
35.1 ft
(10.70 m)
O/A Width
11.0 ft
(3.35 m)
O/A Height
3,042 lb
(1,380 kg)
Empty Weight
5,357 lb
(2,430 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Notable series variants as part of the Airbus Helicopters H130 (EC130) family line.
H130 - Rebranding of EC130 under Airbus Helicopters.
EC130 - Original market designation under Eurocopter brand label.
EC130 B4 - Initial market production form of 2001.
EC130 T2 - Upgraded B4 variant; uprated Arreil 2D turboshaft engine; enhanced performance specifications; cabin air conditioning as standard.
ACH130 - VIP transport model.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Airbus Helicopters H130 (EC130). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 700 Units

Contractor(s): Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) - France
National flag of Australia National flag of Bangladesh National flag of Brazil National flag of Canada National flag of France National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Portugal National flag of Switzerland National flag of the United States

[ Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; Bangladesh; Brazil; Canada; France; Monaco; Netherlands; Portugal; Switzerland; United States ]
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Image of the Airbus Helicopters H130 (EC130)
Image from Airbus Helicopters marketing materials.

Going Further...
The Airbus Helicopters H130 (EC130) Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) appears in the following collections:
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