A Day with the Airbus H160

Aviation enthusiasts tend to have their one or two “dream” aircraft — an aircraft that, if given the opportunity, they’d do anything for a chance to take a ride in or, if lucky enough, even pilot. For me, that aircraft has always been the P-51 Mustang; that is, until recently, when the new (currently experimental) Airbus H160 showed up. Most helicopter enthusiasts are aware of the latest Airbus creation — after all, it’s been years in the making. We were invited to see the H160 during its North American demo tour in Trenton, New Jersey.

It wasn’t until we saw it up close, away from the trade show floor, that we really got to see it flex its muscles, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I personally didn’t get to pilot it, but my dad did, and for someone who’s flown civilian turbine helicopters for nearly 40 years, I was surprised by his feedback. Surprised because, with such an extensive background in similar-class helicopters, I thought there wouldn’t be anything that’d truly impress him anymore. The H160 certainly proved that wrong. The way he described its performance, safety features, auto pilot, and more made it sound like the H160 was a game changer. In talking with the few other people at the demo, the feelings and sentiments were mutual.

In fact, there were already more than a dozen on order just among the group we were with that day. That’s a strong endorsement of the aircraft, considering it isn’t even certified yet and the first deliveries aren’t slated until at least 2020. If you’re interested in hearing more, just let me know, and I’ll be happy to share.

For now, here are a few photos and the link to the Airbus YouTube piece.