Airbus Helicopters’ new, foldable five-blade H145 D3 twin has received a thumbs-up from EASA. FAA approval is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The European certification covers single-pilot IFR operations (SPIFR), single-engine Cat. A/VTOL, and night vision capability. Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even commented that the helicopter is “an excellent example of our quest for continuous improvement and providing incremental innovation that responds to our customers’ requirements.”

Revealed in 2019, the D3 features a new bearingless main rotor design that provides a smoother ride, requires less maintenance, and increases useful load by 330lbs.

The D3’s twin Safran Arriel 2E engines now incorporate FADEC and its digital Helionix avionics suite incorporates a four-axis autopilot and an integrated wireless airborne communications system (wACS) that provides Wi-Fi to the cockpit, imports navigation and mission databases from tablets, establishes automatic connections via Wi-Fi or cell, automatically exports data from previous flights, generates flight reports, launches automatic downloads, and exports a previous flight’s data. Existing D2 operators will be able to upgrade to the D3 configuration via an upgrade kit.

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