The U.S. space agency will use the plane for security throughout rocket launches, emergency medical services, and certified personnel transport.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has made an order for three H135 helicopters, marking the first-ever collaboration between the U.S. space mission and Airbus Helicopters.
The order was declared at the Airbus booth at the Heli Expo Trade show in California.
The H135s will be flown out of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for numerous missions, along with rocket launches, security, emergency medical providers, and passenger transport.
Two of the helicopters are awaiting delivery later this summer, with a 3rd planned for early 2021.
“NASA selected the H135 since Airbus could meet all the NASA mission standards which include personnel movements, airborne regulation enforcement roles, aerial firefighting, weapons training, and overwater operations,” stated Dave Ramsey, NASA’s Chief of Flight Operations.
As a part of an alternative fleet initiative, NASA will purchase the aircraft via Davenport Aviation, an SBA-licensed woman-owned small enterprise and HUBZone contractor specializing in the delivery of aerospace equipment to federal, state and local government companies.
The H135 is the market chief among light twin-engine helicopters, recognized for its endurance, reliability, and versatility.
It boasts the Airbus-built Helionix avionics suite made by pilots, particularly for helicopters.
The H135’s advanced cockpit improves pilots’ situational awareness, and the high-set main rotor and Fenestron shrouded tail rotor enhance operational security.
Worldwide, the H135 operates in over 60 international locations and has taken more than 5 million flight hours.