H145//BK117 D-3 Helicopter Granted Type Certification in Europe

Jul. 06, 2020

Copyright Airbus Helicopters/Anthony Pecchi

Tokyo, July 6, 2020 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today the completion of development for the H145//BK117 D-3 (“D-3”), the latest-model helicopter from the BK117 series jointly developed through international collaboration with Airbus Helicopters. The company also announced the helicopter’s type certification* by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Kawasaki plans to acquire type certification for the D-3 in Japan this fall from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) Civil Aviation Bureau (CAB), and then deliver the first domestic-model D-3 in spring 2021.

The BK117 is a medium-sized, twin-engine helicopter used for various purposes, including emergency medical services, firefighting, disaster relief, law enforcement, broadcasting, and personnel and cargo transport. Following delivery of the first model in 1983, the BK117 has been continually improved over the years, and thanks to the aircraft's outstanding technological strengths and high reliability, Kawasaki has successfully delivered 179 units in total for the BK117 series as of July 6, 2020, and more than 1,600 worldwide with deliveries of Airbus Helicopters combined.

Since commencement of D-3 sales, Kawasaki has enjoyed a steady stream of orders from within Japan and abroad, and following this latest type certification by EASA the company expects to receive even greater numbers of orders.

Main features and specifications for the D-3 are as follows.

Features (Improvements over the D-2)

  1. Increase of the number of main rotor blades from four to five decreases in-flight vibrations for a more comfortable ride.
  2. Increase of useful load weight by approximately 150 kg:
    Maximum Take-Off Weight was increased by approximately 100 kg, and the total empty weight was reduced by approximately 50kg, increasing the useful load of the D-3 by approximately 150 kg.
  3. Reduction of maintenance period by approximately 50%:
    Adoption of a main rotor system that uses a bearing-free construction results in a smaller parts count and fewer inspection items. This makes maintenance operations easier overall, which shortens maintenance times.

Length 13.54 m
Width 1.73 m (body)
Height 3.98 m
Capacity 10 (standard number of seats)
12 (maximum number of seats)
Maximum Take-Off Weight 3,800 kg
Maximum speed Approx. 267 km/h
Cruising Range  740 km (standard tank)
Primary equipment Automatic pilot system, GPS map display unit, helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS), other

*    Type certification proves compliance with safety and environmental standards for a specified aircraft type. Acquisition of this certification permits flight of the certified aircraft type in airspace under the authority of the aviation bureau that granted the certification.

Related Links

■Special Site: Multipurpose Helicopter BK117

■Kawasaki Online Media “ANSWERS”: High-Performance, Twin-Engine, Multipurpose Helicopter BK117 D-3


If you need more information about our business,
please feel free to contact us.