HeliExpo 2019 has began to showoff new inventions, and new aircraft. Airbus just recently introduced the brand new H-145. Originally the H-145 is a four bladed rotor. Airbus says that the new 145 will have a 330 lbs useful load increase over the existing version of the aircraft.The aircraft’s new bearingless main rotor system features a fully composite flex-beam and main rotor blades, doing away with a main rotor system design that had been used on previous generations of the H145, BK117, and BO105. It also dispenses with the main rotor head entirely and the accompanying oil and grease needed to lubricate it. In addition to providing increased lift with the latest airfoil design and material technologies, the blades have a unique foldable design that provides storage and potential cost replacement benefits. Airbus has achieved the aircraft’s increase in useful load by reducing its empty weight by 110 lbs and increasing its maximum takeoff weight from 8,160 lbs to 8,380 lbs As Axel Humpert, head of the H145 program, told media during a pre-Heli-Expo briefing, the aircraft’s useful load is now almost the same as its empty weight.
The new blades have affected the dimensions of the aircraft to a small extent it is now almost four inches taller, and almost four inches shorter from the tip of the blade to the rear of the Fenestron. The diameter of the rotor disc has shortened slightly, from 36 feet, one inchto 35 feet, five inches.
But with the foldability of the blades, which allows all five to be turned rearwards to run in the direction of the tail boom, the aircraft’s potential footprint and storage requirements have been minimized.
Airbus has delivered over 1,500 aircraft from the H145 family (which includes its predecessor, the BK117), with the collective worldwide fleet recording 5.5 million flight hours.