TOKYO --- Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today the receipt of an order for its leading-edge H145//BK117 D-3 helicopter (D-3) by NMB-Minebea Thai Ltd.
This is the first time Kawasaki has received a D-3 order from overseas, and the customer plans to utilize the helicopter for transport operations of its employee and related personnel in Thailand after the delivery scheduled in March 2022.
The D-3 is an improved version of the current BK117 D-2 ("D-2"). The D-3 inherits the traditional advantage of the BK117 series such as large cabin space with a full flat floor, versatile and large rear clam shell doors, improved high-altitude hovering performance, lower noise, and the state of the art avionics (electronics), while improving performance as listed below by the adoption of new features such as the latest main rotor system (5-blade main rotor):
-- Increase of useful load weight by approximately 150 kg:
-- Maximum Takeoff Weight was increased by approximately 100 kg, and the total empty weight was reduced by approximately 50kg, increasing the useful load of the D-3 by approximately 150 kg
-- Reduction of maintenance period by approximately 50%: A contribution of fewer inspection items and intervals, the adoption of a modern, easy-to-maintain main rotor system.
The BK117 is a medium-sized, twin-engine helicopter developed jointly with European company Airbus Helicopters, and is used for various purposes including emergency medical services, firefighting, disaster relief, law enforcement, broadcasting, and personnel and cargo transport.
Following delivery of the first model in 1983, this helicopter has been continually improved over the years, and thanks to the aircraft's outstanding technological strengths and high reliability, Kawasaki has successfully delivered 179 units as of June 17, 2020, and more than 1,600 worldwide with deliveries of Airbus Helicopters combined.
Kawasaki will continue to improve the BK117 helicopter, including the development of new optional equipment for various applications. Kawasaki will pursue further business around the world, taking advantage of the strong customer trust fostered through past deliveries, as well as the company's comprehensive customer support system encompassing everything from development to manufacturing, sales and after-sales services.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally designed jointly by Kawasaki and Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm (MBB), which after several changes in corporate ownership eventually became Airbus Helicopters, the BK117 remains popular despite having made its first flight in 1979 – more than 40 years ago.