Certification of the Rig’N Fly automatic oil platform approach mode for the H175

Airbus Helicopters has received EASA certification for the Rig’N Fly (Rig Integrated GPS approaches with eNhanced Flyability and safetY) for its H175 super medium helicopter.

Already certified for the H225, this avionics upgrade enhances the H175’s offshore mission capability providing fully automatic rig approaches. The automated mode also reinforces flight safety by allowing the crew to focus on the flight parameters and the external environment.

“With 19 helicopters now in operation, the H175 continues to evolve to meet the demanding Oil & Gas industry mission needs,” said Marc Allongue, head of the H175 programme. “This automatic approach procedure is a key element to increase the reliability and safety of our customers’ offshore operations.

Thanks to the Rig’N Fly mode, their approaches to and take-offs from platform-based helipads will be safer and simpler.” Rig’N Fly uses a combination of sensors (GPS, barometric altimeter, radar altimeter, weather radar, etc.) to provide enhanced flight precision and situational awareness for automatic rig approaches.

The system also includes offset approaches, which can be tailored according to weather conditions and oil rig environment for the safest, standardized approach, placing the helideck in the most easily visible position for the crew.

By providing a repeatable path computation, the ability to couple the Automatic Flight Control System along with the flexibility to take environmental elements into account, Rig’N Fly reduces the workload of the crew, while enhancing situational awareness.

The H175 upgraded avionics suite also include advances in the Synthetic Vision System – offering a better display resolution and decluttering capability- and in the Helicopter Terrain Avoidance System, which optimises crew alerting time.

Approach-deviation alerts have also been improved while enhancement of the maintenance functions and associated ground tools allow for better detection of failures and simplification of data downloading.

Airbus Helicopters and NHV celebrate three years of H175 operations

Airbus Helicopters and NHV celebrate three years since the introduction of the H175 to the North Sea and strengthen their partnership to keep setting standards for offshore transport operations with this super medium helicopter.

NHV was the global launching customer of this platform, whose first two aircraft entered into service in December 2014. Since then the NHV fleet has expanded with an increasing number of H175s, with the last helicopter of the first batch of ten aircraft ordered in 2012 having recently been delivered.

The deliveries of the remaining six aircraft, following a second batch confirmed by the customer in 2014, will take place in the coming years to broaden NHV’s capabilities. “I am proud that, today, NHV is the only operator with a vast experience in flying the H175.

Thanks to the collective dedication of our teams, who are putting the advanced capability of the H175 into practice every day while upholding the highest levels of safety, we are successfully positioning the H175 as the new standard for oil and gas missions.

We also thank our valued customers and Airbus Helicopters for being our strong partners in this success story”, says Eric Van Hal, CEO of NHV Group. Initially operated from Den Helder, NHV gradually expanded H175 operations to other bases in the North Sea and West Africa, where the aircraft has accumulated experience and gained maturity.

The aircraft is currently in operation in NHV North Sea bases of Den Helder (Netherlands), Aberdeen (Scotland) and Esbjerg (Denmark). “I want to thank NHV for being such a strong and reliable partner”, said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “Together we have made the H175 a benchmark for offshore transport and have demonstrated that the aircraft delivers on its commitments of safety, reliability, comfort and cost effectiveness.

They can count on our continued support to guarantee the success of their demanding missions”. Since their entry-into-service, NHV’s H175s have completed more than 8500 flights and accumulated 15,000 flight hours, with certain missions conducted in challenging North Sea weather conditions and non-stop flights performed to distances of 180 NM with passengers and cargo.

The H175 delivers on all counts with its long range, smooth ride, excellent payload lift, outstanding cabin comfort and low sound levels. It is also very cost-effective and easy to maintain. The offshore and VIP versions are already in operation and Public Service version is scheduled to enter into service in the coming months.


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