BO 105 helicopters clock up 8 million flight hours
A Red Bull BO 105 is credited with achievieng the 8 millionth flight hour in the veteran helicopter that has been a fixture of rotorcraft fleets around the globe for over 40 years.
“We are proud that the BO 105 has reached this unique milestone,” says Dr. Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters in Germany.
“The BO105 remains the only helicopter in the world that can execute the same spectacular aerobatic maneuvers as conventional airplanes,” says Rainer Wilke, BO 105 pilot with the Flying Bulls. “I’m already very excited about showing the ILA audience what this helicopter can do.”
With the introduction of its hingeless main rotor head, the BO 105 paved the way for the bearingless rotor systems of today’s helicopters. In total, more than 1400 BO 105 helicopters were delivered to customers between 1970 and 2009. In addition to Germany, the BO105 was also manufactured under license in the Philippines, Indonesia, Spain and Canada.
Some 700 BO 105 are still in service worldwide today, including as air rescue and police helicopters, as transport helicopters in the oil and gas industry, and also for business travel. They completed some 125,000 flight hours in the last year alone.
The German Armed Forces is the biggest user, having also integrated the BO105 into its fleet as the PAH1 anti-tank helicopter. Meanwhile, the longest-serving BO105 was commissioned back in 1974 and is still carrying out aerial work on the Falkland Islands. It now has some 21,000 flight hours under its belt.
Although production of the BO105 wound down in the late 1990s, Airbus Helicopters provides comprehensive support and spare parts for the helicopter fleet and has undertaken to continue doing so until at least 2025.