Nearly a year ago, the first prototype for the H160 (the first helicopter in the new chapter of Airbus Helicopter) began flight tests to confirm the ambitious goals of stability, low vibration level and acoustic emissions that its modern design by Airbus Helicopters wants to ensure.
During the last month of July, Avio Aero started its contribution to the success of the newest creation by the famous helicopter manufacturer, delivering the first kit of Accessory Gearboxes, for which it is responsible.
The kit was completely manufactured at our Rivalta plant, and consists of the Front Accessory Gearbox (FAGB) and Right & Left Hand Accessory Gearboxes (RH/LH AGB), as well as a series of accessory gears to complete the installation on the helicopter’s main transmission, the Main Gearbox (MGB), located right below the aircraft’s blades.
Over 60 people contributed to the program’s success, mainly from the Transmissions CoE in Rivalta, on top of our suppliers’ skilled workers who, in perfect cooperation and synergy, contributed to creating some of the main components for the first module.
This product required careful studies and high-tech manufacturing: “These are components that need special care in creating some of the requirements, such as races for bearings integrated on small spur gears, superfinishing gear teeth, anti-corrosion surfacing, machining housing from plate (made externally), that go beyond Avio Aero’s normal standards, and this is why they were particularly challenging,” commented Dario Fantini, our Lead Advanced Manufacturing/New Project Specialist.
The challenges that await the Avio Aero team, busy with the new jewel of Airbus Helicopters are not over yet: indeed, we’re expecting the qualifications, shortly, for our special processes used for the H160, which are a key element for maintaining the performances required by the program, and which will be the basis for future collaborations in other programs.
This program is a key point in our strategy for the growth in the helicopter market, and a milestone in the now historic collaboration between Avio Aero and Airbus Helicopters, which boasts its origins in the distant sixties and may be enriched in the future.