Airbus Helicopters Makes World’s First Delivery of Newest-model Helicopter H145//BK117 D-3

Oct. 08, 2020

Copyright Airbus Helicopters

Tokyo, October 8, 2020 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today the first delivery worldwide of its latest-model of BK117 helicopter series, the H145//BK117 D-3 (“D-3”). The company jointly developed the D-3 through continuous international collaboration with Airbus Helicopters, and the two companies also have a shared manufacturing agreement for the helicopter. The first delivery was made to the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation in Norway and is slated for use in emergency medical services (EMS). Furthermore, the first Japanese-manufactured D-3 is scheduled for delivery in Japan by Kawasaki in spring 2021.

The D-3 is an improved version of the H145//BK117 D-2 (“D-2”), which is currently in use. It preserves the advantages and features of D-2, which include a spacious cabin with an entirely flat floor, clamshell-type cargo doors at the rear that provide excellent application versatility, improved high-altitude hovering performance, greater noise reduction, and the latest avionics (electronic systems) to reduce demands on the pilot. It also features a new main rotor system (five-blade main rotor) that provides the following performance improvements.

  1. 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.
    * Combined total weight with full loads of specified items/personnel including fuel, crew, passengers, etc.
  2. Shorter maintenance downtimes:
    Use of the latest type of main rotor system, whose structure facilitates easier maintenance operations, enables shorter maintenance times.

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 as of April 1, 2020, and more than 1,600 worldwide with deliveries of Airbus Helicopters combined.

Moving forward, Kawasaki will continue making performance improvements to the BK117, and developing new equipment and components as needed. Furthermore, the company will leverage the strong customer trust fostered through past business operations, as well as the company's comprehensive customer support system encompassing everything from development to manufacturing, sales and after-sales services, in the pursuit of further business around the world.

Basic Specifications
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

Related Links

■Special Site: Multipurpose Helicopter BK117

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

■Kawasaki Online Media “ANSWERS”: Immediate Transport of Physician to an Emergency Behind-the-Scenes Stories of EMS Helicopters Saving Lives


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