Kawasaki Receives Order from Chunichi Shimbun for First H145//BK117 D-3 Broadcasting-use Helicopter

Dec. 09, 2020

©Airbus Helicopters/Eric Raz

Tokyo, December 9, 2020 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today its receipt of an order for its latest-model helicopter, the H145//BK117 D-3 (“D-3”), from Chunichi Shimbun Co., Ltd. Chunichi Shimbun plans to use the helicopter for broadcasting operations, sharing it with Tokai Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd. This is the sixth D-3 order Kawasaki has received thus far, and the first ordered for broadcasting applications.

The D-3 is an improved version of the 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.
  2. Reduction of maintenance period by approximately 50%:
    A contribution of fewer inspection items and intervals, the adoption of a modern, easy-to-maintain main rotor system.

The BK117 is a medium-sized, twin-engine helicopter jointly developed through international collaboration with the European helicopter manufacturer Airbus Helicopters and 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 December 9, 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.

Specifications for the H145//BK117 D-3 Helicopter
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

*    Combined total weight with full loads of specified items/personnel including fuel, crew, passengers, etc.

Related Links

■Special Site: Multipurpose Helicopter BK117

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


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