Airbus Helicopters in Japan has handed over a brand-new H135 to Tohoku Air Service (TAS). The H135 (formerly known as EC135 P3) is the latest version of the EC135 family of helicopters and TAS will be the first operator to introduce this variant in Japan.
Currently, TAS is operating two EC135 P2+s, which are used mainly for power line patrols. The types of mission will expand to include aerial works, including aerial photography and survey. The new H135 will join the two EC135 P2+s to perform similar missions. TAS has eight years of operational experience of the type and it has been operating Airbus Helicopter’s aircraft for 25 years since its establishment.
“We are very pleased to introduce the new H135 variant in Japan. Having been operating helicopters produced by Airbus Helicopters over the last 25 years, we are convinced that this fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft is ideal to serve our missions,” said Hisashi Nagahama, President of TAS. “The acquisition of an additional H135 will contribute to achieving our ambitious plans of developing our home base, the Tohoku region, in a sustainable manner.”
“TAS is one of our most important customers in Japan who has shown their continued confidence and support in our aircraft. Their introduction of the H135 demonstrates the reliability of this product and confirms the strong and long-standing relationship between TAS and Airbus Helicopters,” said Stephane Ginoux, President of Airbus Helicopters Japan. “With its state-of-the-art technology, the versatile H135 will play a key role to strengthen the company’s services. We are committed to providing quality products and full support services that fit our customers’ needs.”
The H135 is one of Airbus Helicopter’s most successful light twin-engine helicopters in the 3-ton class, with a seating capacity of seven to eight passengers. It provides higher payload over longer distances than other rotorcraft in its category, and delivers supreme performance envelope along with low fuel consumption. Other features include the use of a bearingless main rotor and Airbus Helicopters’ signature Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor. The results are enhanced cost effectiveness, noise reduction and ground safety.
In Japan, there are currently 85 H135s operating for emergency medical services, police work, electronic news gathering, VIP transport and business aviation. Globally, nearly 1200 H135s are delivered and in operation, having logged more than three million flight hours.
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