The only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that offers both corporate jets and helicopters is Airbus, and Airbus Corporate Helicopters has been a faithful attender of the Monaco Yacht Show for a decade and this year was no different. An ACH helicopter – normally an ACH145 – is a fixture at each show on the regatta rooftop of the Monaco Yacht Club, fitting enough for a company with around a 70% share of the global market for helicopters on board super yachts.
This year ACH again exhibited the ACH145 on the rooftop terrace but there were also an ACH130, ACH135 and ACH160 on board superyachts at the show. All of the company’s range of helicopters from the single engine ACH125 and ACH130 up to the ACH175 are suitable for yacht operations but the twin-engine ACH135, ACH145 and new ACH160 models make up most of the fleet.
The ACH145 is exceptionally popular in the superyacht community. Greatly valued for its modularity, it can be configured in a quick-change mode from four to eight passengers with variable luggage space or can even be used in a full cargo lay-out to take supplies between the yacht and dry land. Yet it is still one of the most compact and light helicopters in its class – a key attribute in the relatively confined area of on-board space. Its exceptional reliability ensures operations in remote locations possibly for months at a time without support.
As with the entire range, exceptional interior solutions are offered, including bespoke configurations or perhaps the Mercedes Benz Style Edition which provides superb comfort and high-end styling such as a wooden floor in keeping with the design standards of superyachts. Now fully certified and in-service, the ACH160, carrying up to 10 passengers, is considered to be the world’s most technologically advanced civil helicopter and has already been ordered for yacht operations.
Providing 20% greater volume per passenger compared to previous generation medium twin helicopters and 35% larger windows than its competitors it has the brightest cabin in its class. Coupled to its exceptionally smooth and quiet ride in flight, it sets new standards for the passenger experience.