The Marinha do Brasil (Brazilian Navy) received on July 10, 2020, the second Airbus Helicopter H135 aircraft in the 1st General Employment Helicopter Squadron (HU-1). The helicopter, serial number N7091, local designation UH-17, was displayed during an event on August 29 at Base Aérea Naval (BAN) São Pedro da Aldeia to mark the 103rd anniversary of Brazilian Naval Aviation. Referred to as UH-17 by the navy, the second of overall three helicopters to be delivered under a contract from 2019 will support the Brazilian Antarctic Program (PROANTAR), flying from ships operating in the region.
The H135s are replacing the current light twin-engine AS355s in service with the Brazilian Navy. The helicopter comes with two FADEC-equipped engine options, Safran Helicopter Engines’ Arrius 2B2plus and Pratt & Whitney Canada’s 206B3, and is fitted with a bearingless main rotor, Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, engine software modifications, and new lateral air intake.The first two aircraft, N-7090 and N-7091, feature aeromedical kits and equipment while all three units have a cargo hook, an emergency flotation system, a winch, as well as weather radar. They will support a range of missions such as special operations, transport of troops and freight, naval inspection, search and rescue and medical evacuation. The helicopters are equipped with a cargo hook, emergency flotation system and weather radar; two of the three will be delivered with aeromedical kits.
The Airbus Helicopters H135 (Eurocopter EC135) is a twin-engine civil light utility helicopter produced by Airbus Helicopters (formerly known as Eurocopter). It is capable of flight under instrument flight rules (IFR) and is outfitted with a digital automatic flight control system (AFCS). First flying on 15 February 1994, it entered service in 1996 and 1,300 have been delivered up to January 2018 to 300 operators in 60 countries, accumulating over 4.5 million flight hours. It is mainly used for helicopter emergency medical services then for corporate transport, law enforcement, offshore wind and military flight training. Half of them are in Europe and a quarter in North America.
The EC135 is a twin-engine rotorcraft. It can be alternatively powered by a pair of Turbomeca Arrius 2B or Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B engines, dependent on customer’s preference (which gives either a T or a P, respectively, in the variant name). The main rotor is of a four-bladed, hingeless fiber-composite design; progressive improvements to the main rotor have increased its performance and reduced maintenance costs since the type’s introduction. The newer H135 model can be equipped with a four-axis autopilot, which is included as part of the Helionix avionics suite; this suite provides the H135 a greater level of commonality with several other Airbus Helicopters-produced rotorcraft including the H145, H160 and H175.[