Airbus has finally conceded defeat on the H120 (née EC120) and confirmed that the production line has been closed after delivering exactly 700 units. The Robinson R66 Turbine is the reason, and it is a trend HeliHub.com
has identified and predicted for many years and written about – check out these stories in particular
Bell has yet to deliver 20 B505 JetRanger X aircraft to customers, so Airbus cannot point to that newcomer as a contributor to their decision, particularly when the Bell will be much closer to the H120 price ticket than the R66 is.
Robinson took just under 60 months from FAA certification to build and deliver the same number of R66s that Airbus (and as Eurocopter in prior years) had taken 220 months to do. At that point, we were looking at 690 aircraft. Since that time, Robinson has produced another 150 R66s, and Airbus just 10 H120s, including two to the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service.