The Airbus Helicopters H175 is a medium-weight multi-role utility twin
engine helicopter accommodating up to 18 passengers and 2 crew. The H175,
also known as the Avicopter AC352 (formerly the Z-15), was the newest helicopter in the Eurocopter
range and was developed as the EC175 in cooperation with China's AVIC II (Aviation Industry Corporation of China).
Development of the EC175 started in 2005 and the new helicopter was announced at
HAI Heli-Expo in the US on 24 February 2008. Designed from the outset with the close
involvement of operators, the H175 is suited for a wide range of missions, including
offshore, search and rescue, VIP, utility and MEDEVAC operations. To operate in the oil/gas
and SAR market the EC175 was designed for dual-pilot IFR. The aircraft has a five-blade
Spheriflex main rotor with an extremely low vibration level and a three-blade tail rotor. The
H175 is powered by a pair of 1,775 shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67E turboshafts. The PT6C-67E
incorporates Electronic Engine Control (EEC) with Hydro-mechanical Backup Dual channel Full
Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). The H175 has a 16-seat interior for oil and gas transport,
with easy access through wide sliding doors, and features oversized jettisonable windows. The EC175
features a flat floor, and will omit any partition between the cockpit and the cabin. The aircraft is
offered with optional auxiliary fuel tanks under the cabin floor. Four prototypes are built, Eurocopter
EC175 c/n 1001 and 1003, and AVIC Z-15 'PT2' and 'PT4'. On 17 December 2009, the first prototype EC175,
c/n 1001 F-WWPB, flew first at Marignane, with its official maidenflight on 17 December 2009. The
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification for the EC175 was received on 27 January 2014.
Deliveries of the H175 started with the first two Airbus Helicopters EC175 Bs officially handed over to
NHV Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen on 11 December 2014. Both helicopters entered service as PH-NHU and PH-NHV
at Den Helder Airport the same month. The AC352, however, has yet to make its first flight and is not expected
to earn its certification by China’s civil aviation authority until 2017. As previously agreed, Avicopter will
sell the AC352 in China, while Airbus Helicopters sells the H175 in the rest of the world.
The Eurocopter group was a division of
EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company). Taking off
into 2014, the EADS group has been rebranded as "Airbus Group". Uniting
all its activities under a single brand, Airbus Group renamed its helicopter division Eurocopter, that was rebranded
Airbus Helicopters on 8 January 2014.
The 2015-built Airbus Helicopters H175 s/n 5006 was test-flown with registration F-WWOH.
On 25 September 2015, the aircraft was registered OO-NSD in Belgium with
Belfius Lease Service NV as owner and Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen, Ostend, as holder.
On 29 September 2015, H175 OO-NSD was delivered at Ostend, Belgium. The H175 OO-NSD is intended to operate out of Aberdeen in 2016,
but was added first to the NHV' fleet at Den Helder Airport in the Netherlands where it should be operated from 6 October until early December 2015.
Noordzee Helicopters Vlaanderen is an H175 launch customer booking its first contract for 10 of the mid-sized, twin-engine EC175 helicopters in 2012.
In February 2014, NHV ordered six more Airbus Helicopters EC175s, increasing its acquisitions of the new-generation rotorcraft to 16.