The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has ordered three H135 helicopters from Airbus Helicopters.
As revealed by Airbus, this is the first partnership between the two sides and will see the agency receive all three units by 2021.
The H135s will be operated out of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a variety of missions, including rocket launches, security, emergency medical services, and passenger transport. Two of the helicopters are scheduled for delivery later this summer, with a third planned for early 2021.
“NASA chose the H135 because Airbus was able to meet all the NASA mission requirements which include personnel movements, airborne law enforcement roles, aerial firefighting, weapons training, and overwater operations,” said Dave Ramsey, NASA’s Chief of Flight Operations at the Kennedy Space Center. “The H135 provides a modernized airframe that performs well in the Florida environment and will serve to protect NASA assets and personnel for years to come.”
As part of a fleet replacement initiative, NASA will acquire the aircraft through Davenport Aviation, an SBA-certified woman-owned small business and HUBZone contractor specializing in the supply of aerospace equipment to federal, state and local government agencies.
The H135 is a light twin-engine helicopter featuring the Helionix avionics suite, a high-set main rotor and Fenestron shrouded tail rotor for enhanced operational safety.