Airbus finished its first flight of their H160 helicopter prototype, the PT3. The test flight was at their headquarters in France. This test was a part of their ongoing test program. The PT3 was equipped with different Airbus helicopter parts, like a cabin configuration. This resembles a serial aircraft.
The test flight was anticipated to aid the certification activities of the helicopter and to make sure the prototype was mature enough before it goes into service in 2019. Bernard Fujarski, the senior vice-president of Airbus, stated that this prototype has many different modifications that has resulted from the feedback from the first 2 years of tests by various teams.
The first two helicopter prototypes have already recorded 500 hours in the air. The first test run was in June 2015. All three of the prototypes will be used for different developmental activities, which includes testing in hot weather and testing other optional helicopter engine parts.
The H160’s final assembly line is located in Marignane, France. The helicopters are in the last stages of preparation and are expected to join serial production in the coming days. When these helicopters are fully mature, they are projected to be in use for both commercial air and offshore areas. Bell Helicopter also envisions to create and emergency medical services version of the H160 in the future.