TYPE: Light utility helicopter.
PROGRAMME: Incorporation of EC 135 technology into BK 117 began in 1997; named EC 145 in late 1990, but retains engineering designation BK 117C-2 and is marketed in Japan as such. First flight of German aircraft (D-HMBK) (unannounced) 12 June 1999; first flight of Japanese prototype 15 March 2000; third prototype (D-HMBL) joined programme 14 April 2000; fourth (D-HMBM) on 27 October 2000. Kawasaki builds tail section; Eurocopter responsible for forward section. Certification by LBA received 12 December 2000; commercial launch at Paris Air Show, June 2001; FAA certification awarded 14 February 2002, coincident with type's formal "introduction" at HeliExpo, Orlando, Florida.
CUSTOMERS: Launch customer was French Securite Civile, which ordered 32 in December 1997 for delivery between and 2006 to replace Alouette III; two preproduction examples delivered May 2001 for familiarisation; first production example (F-ZBPA) formally handed over at Nimes-Garons 24 April 2002; initial batch of 15 received by mid-2003. Second customer is French Gendarmerie, with firm order for eight placed in 1999; deliveries began and initial batch of five received by mid-2003. ADAC (German Automobile Club) ordered two in June 2001 to become civilian launch customer; delivery in 2002. Eight ordered in 2001, including four for Rega HEMS in Switzerland, delivered from 21 November 2002. Two for Hesse Police (Germany) delivered from April 2002.
COSTS: Securite Civile contract valued at US$170 million. Flyaway cost reported as US$4.9 million (2000).
DESIGN FEATURES: Fuselage redesigned forward of engines; new nose, based on EC 135, provides improved visibility. Main rotor blades are same diameter as BK 117, but have EC 135 profile. Redesigned tail rotor. Optimised for SAR and emergency roles.
STRUCTURE: As BK 117.
LANDING GEAR: As BK 117.
POWER PLANT: TWO Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 turboshafts, each rated at 550kW for take-off, 516kW maximum continuous and 574kW for 2 1/2 minutes' OEI. Main transmission rated at 776kW for twin-engine T-O, 632kW maximum continuous, for single-engine operarion 551kW allowed for 2 1/2 minutes, 404kW for maximum continuous. Standard fuel contained in main tank, usable capacity 741.5 litres and left and right supply tanks, usable capacities 59 litres and 67 litres respectively, for total capacity of 867.5 litres. Optional long-range tanks increase usable capacity to 1,086 litres.
ACCOMMODATION: Compared with BK 117, cabin is more spacious through removal of centre post and door supports.
SYSTEMS: As BK 117.
AVIONICS: Standard packages available for single/dual pilot IFR (as described), single pilot VFR and single pilot IFR.
EQUIPMENT: As BK 117.
Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 2004-2005