Airbus Helicopters yesterday delivered two new-generation EC175 helicopters to NHV for oil and gas missions in the North Sea.
The new medium-sized helicopters EC175s will be used for the airlift of crews and supplies to oil and gas platforms at sea, along with search and rescue in support of such offshore operations.
Airbus Helicopters has explained it has designed the EC175 to meet evolving mission needs in the oil and gas industry, offering outstanding performance and unmatched cost efficiency – with the capability of carrying a full payload to 90 percent of the North Sea’s offshore installations.
“Today is a very special day for all of us. The delivery of this first EC175 is indeed a key milestone for NHV, for our customer community and for our company”, said Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury.
A total of 16 EC175s have been ordered by NHV in its strategy of owning a young, modern fleet. NHV will begin EC175 service this month from the Dutch North Sea base of Den Helder.
“We are proud to be the EC175’s first operator, continuing a long partnership with Airbus Helicopters that began in 1997 with a Dauphin rotorcraft, and which now includes Super Puma AS332 L2, EC155 B1 and EC145 helicopters,” explained Eric Van Hal, the CEO of NHV. “Our EC175s are joining an industry-leading fleet of Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft that was expanded through the announcement of our merger this year with Blueway.”
According to Airbus, the helicopter’s radius-of-action in an oil and gas mission configuration enables 16 passengers to be transported to offshore rigs at distances of 140 nautical miles (NM.) on crew change flights, extending to nearly 200 NM when 12 passengers are carried. Further certification of the EC175 at an increased maximum take-off weight of 7,800 kg will offer operators the ability to further expand the radius-of-action by 40 NM, or to carry 300 kg of additional payload.
The aircaft’s recommended cruise speed of 150 kts, while the maximum cruise speed exceeds 165 kts.