SUBANG: After its unveiling at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2017, the H130 Airbus Helicopter may start flying commercially in the country.
Following 25 passenger flights this week, Airbus Helicopters representatives said there has been interest by various parties, but declined to give details.
On its first media flight over Kuala Lumpur yesterday, 11 members of the media had a taste of the high-performance single-engine rotocraft that offers a 180-degree panoramic view through its large windows.
The staggered seating, with seats at the back slightly raised, enables even those seated behind to enjoy the scenery during a flight.
The H130’s cabin is able to seat seven, including the pilot.
According to Airbus Helicopters vice-president of sales Guillaume Dubreuil, the H130 is designed for tourism and sightseeing, VIP and corporate transport, emergency medical services, law enforcement and surveillance, and aerial work, among others.
It is the largest single-engine helicopter and three to four times cheaper to buy and operate than a twin-engine.
“It costs below RM2,200 per hour to operate while a twin-engine costs more than RM4,400,” he said.
It is claimed to be the quietest helicopter on the market in its category, even quieter than what is allowed by the Grand Canyon National Park in the United States, a recognised benchmark for eco-friendly tourism operations.