Final EC135 training helicopter delivered to Australia

final-HATS_lg
Boeing employees based at HMAS Albatross. (Boeing)

The final Airbus Helicopters EC135 T2+ training helicopter for the Helicopter Aircrew Training System project has arrived in Australia.

This last aircraft delivery in late August marked the completion of the training fleet for the project that will provide ab initio training to Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army students at HMAS Albatross, Boeing stated on October 10.

Airbus stated in November 2016 that it had achieved factory acceptance of the last six of the fleet of 15 helicopters, but it is understood that the final EC135 had been in Germany having an air-conditioning system fitted, serving as a prototype.

“The arrival of the final EC135 helicopter by our partner Airbus marks an important achievement as we prepare to accept the first Navy and Army trainees in mid-January 2018,” said Darryn Fletcher, program director for Boeing.

“We are now working with our partners to complete qualification of the simulators, finalise the training courses and complete the delivery of synthetic devices.”

Since being introduced, the EC135 fleet has exceeded 1,200 hours of flying.

Navy Daily reported on October 2 that first-of-class flight trials were being conducted with the EC135 in multirole aviation training vessel MV Sycamore.

The first conversion training course to up-skill Boeing and Australian Defence Force (ADF) instructors has been completed.

“The training of the pilot and aircrew instructors is well under way, and Boeing are pleased with how live and synthetic training and materials has progressed,” said Fletcher.