Newest-model Kawasaki H145//BK117 D-3 Helicopter Granted Type Certification in Japan

May 31, 2021

Kawasaki-use helicopter undergoing test flight in Germany following upgrade
from D-2 to D-3

Tokyo, May 31, 2021 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today the acquisition of type certification*1 for the H145//BK117 D-3 (“D-3”) from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) Civil Aviation Bureau (CAB). The D-3 is the latest-model helicopter from the BK117 series, which was jointly developed through international collaboration with Airbus Helicopters. This certification proves the D-3’s compliance with safety and environmental standards and permits its flight within Japan.

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 180 units in total for the BK117 series as of May 31, 2021, and more than 1,600 worldwide with deliveries of Airbus Helicopters combined.

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, outstanding 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) along with other improvements.

Moving forward, Kawasaki will continue making performance improvements to the BK117, and developing new equipment and components for various applications. Furthermore, Kawasaki will leverage the strong customer trust fostered through successful deliveries in the past, 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.

Features (Improvements over the D-2)

  1. Increase of useful load weight by approximately 150 kg:
    Maximum Take-Off Weight*2 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. Increase of the number of main rotor blades from four to five decreases in-flight vibrations for a more comfortable ride.
  3. 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.

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. 263 km/h (maximum total weight, 5,000-foot altitude)
Cruising Range  722 km (standard tank, 5,000-foot altitude)
Primary equipment Automatic pilot system, GPS map display unit, helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS), other

*1    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.
*2    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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