Airbus and Tata Group To Produce H125 Helicopter, the Only to Have Landed on Mt. Everest

On this year's Republic Day of India French President Emmanuel Macron visited India as Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. During his this visit, Airbus Helicopters, (formerly Eurocopter Group) the helicopter manufacturing division of Airbus, announced that it is partnering with the Tata Group to establish a Final Assembly Line (FAL) for helicopters in India.

The FAL, which will be India’s first helicopter Final Assembly Line in the private sector, will produce Airbus’ best-selling H125 helicopter from its civil range for India and will even export to few of India’s neighbouring countries.

The H125-series helicopters (previously designated the AS350 B3e) is a single-engine helicopters for performance, versatility, low maintenance, and low acquisition costs. It is a member of Airbus’ Ecureuil family, which has accumulated 38 million flight hours worldwide.

Airbus claims that the H125-series helicopters have made number of world records. In 2005, the H125 set the world record for the highest-altitude landing and takeoff, performed on Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 feet). And in May 2013, the AS350 B3 (H125) performed the world's highest long-line rescue operation on Lhotse, the world's 4th-highest mountain, located in the Himalayas at 7,800 metres (25,590 feet).

H125 helicopter (Image - Stephane KERVELLA)
H125 helicopter (Image - Stephane KERVELLA) 

H125 helicopter (Image - Stephane KERVELLA)
H125 helicopter (Image - Stephane KERVELLA) 

The H125 series helicopters can operate in high-and-hot and extreme environments and can be easily reconfigured for various missions, including aerial work, firefighting, law enforcement, rescue, air ambulance, passenger transport, and many others.

Headquartered in Marignane, France, Airbus Helicopters will set up the helicopter manufacturing facility in India in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a subsidiary of Tata Group.


H125 helicopter (Image - Stephane KERVELLA) 

 
To recall, TASL has also inked a contract with Airbus rival firm Boeing recently, to manufacture and supply advanced composite assemblies for Boeing 737 MAX, 777X, and 787 Dreamliner. Tata's TASL will manufacture these components from its manufacturing facilities located in Bengaluru and Nagpur.

The FAL in India will undertake the integration of the major component assemblies, avionics and mission systems, installation of electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, fuel system and the engine.

The proposed H125 helicopter manufacturing facility will be the second FAL to be established in India by Airbus, leveraging Tata Group's TASL’s capabilities in aerospace and defence. The two companies are already building the C295 military transport aircraft FAL in Vadodara, Gujarat.

N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, said, “The Tata Group is delighted to set up India’s first helicopter assembly facility in the private sector. This facility will have the final assembly line in partnership with Airbus for the world’s bestselling Airbus H125 single engine helicopter for the Indian as well as export markets.”

Undisputed in its class, the H125 produced in India will catalyse the use of helicopters in the country. This multi-mission workhorse will revolutionise passenger and goods transportation and will also be used for segments such as emergency medical services (HEMS), disaster management, law enforcement, tourism and aerial work missions. Providing last mile connectivity to remote areas, the H125 will significantly contribute to the Government of India’s regional connectivity scheme – Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) that will further promote the tourism sector in the country.

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