About the Airbus H135 Juno

ROLE

The Airbus Helicopters H135 Juno has been procured to replace the Squirrel HT1 in the basic rotary wing training role with the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury.  It is expected to begin student courses in 2018.

CAPABILITY

With all but a handful of the UK’s frontline military helicopters equipped with glass cockpits, the H135 will bring helicopter training into the modern era.  It will also ensure continuity and a logical progression for students through the UK Military Flying Training System.

TYPE HISTORY

In 1988, MBB flew the BO108 technology demonstrator with the ultimate aim of replacing the highly successful BO105 in its helicopter line-up.  DASA bought MBB the following year, flying a further prototype in 1991, although the design was subsequently altered quite dramatically, including provision of a fenestron in place of the conventional tail rotor.

Now under Eurocopter control after Aerospatiale and DASA merged their helicopter divisions, prototypes of what had become the EC135 flew for the first time on February 15 and April 16, 1994.  First customer deliveries followed in July 1996, since when the type has undergone considerable evolution and found favour with a host of civilian, military and para-military customers.  After consolidation within the EADS and Airbus groups, Eurocopter became Airbus Helicopters on January 17, 2014.

Among its most successful products, the latest H135 standard offers exceptional performance yet remains the quietest helicopter in its class.  The type was included alongside the larger H145 in the UK MFTS rotary wing training package offered by Ascent as the current DHFS provision neared contract end.  With Ascent chosen for UK MFTS helicopter training early in 2016, some 29 H135s and three H145s were contracted from Airbus Helicopters in Germany, for completion and initial instructor training in the UK.

The first helicopter had reached the UK before year-end and a pair of H135s and an H145 arrived at RAF Shawbury on April 3, 2017.  Release to service was issued on May 12 and the first H135 course is likely to begin in spring 2018.  The aircraft has been named Juno.

Specifications

Airbus Helicopters H135 Juno

  • Powerplant two Safran Helicopter Engines Arrius 2B2plus turboshafts
  • Length overall 39ft 8½in (12.10m)
  • Height 12ft 3½in (3.75m)
  • Maximum take-off weight 6,570lb (2,980kg)
  • Maximum speed 140kt (278km/h)
  • Maximum range 329nm (609km)
  • Hovering ceiling in ground effect 12,700ft