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The new helicopter by Airbus is well suited to landing on a yacht in charming and protected areas in the Caribbean. A Yacht Interface Augmented Reality app has also been designed to configure own tailor-made helicopter.

The ACH130 is one of the most eclectic helicopters around. As well as flying above cities in over 50 countries worldwide, the Airbus Helicopters ACH130 is well suited to entering protected areas, such as marine reserves and national parks, due to its low noise levels, an essential trait to maintain the peace and quiet of these areas and their delicate habitat, or to landing on a yacht in a charming and remote area in the Caribbean.

Its unusual design, with floor-to-ceiling cockpit windows and open space cabin, allow the pilot and passengers – up to seven – to enjoy a 180° view. Back-seat passengers enjoy a raised view, just like at the theatre, while the active vibration control system limits noise and vibrations.

Automatic engine ignition allows you to make quick and safe journeys. Its landing gear, marked by a broad horizontal stabiliser, ensures a soft, precise landing.

Thanks to its modest maximum take-off weight (2,500kg) it can land on the helipads – even in touch & go mode –  of many yachts on the move, taking due care, having a load capacity of 1,500kg and extensive luggage space, accessed from the outside.

Suitable for short journeys, it has a maximum flight time of four hours and can travel for up to approximately 617km, or 333nm. It boasts a maximum cruise speed of 240km/h, or 130kts/h. Tourists can be taken, for instance, to the peak of a volcano’s rock face, or to the snow-capped top of a mountain, directly from a yacht.

The characteristic Fenestron® rotor, now a familiar sight the world over, helps with the excellent handling of the helicopter, preventing the tail rotor from touching foreign objects while landing and allowing manoeuvres in cramped spaces. This protected tail rotor also offers added safety for persons on the ground, or on board a yacht, where spaces are much tighter, and sometimes the craft is also on the move.

This helicopter has been designed very creatively, and like its bigger brothers has interesting bespoke elements, such as the choice of leather for the cockpit and seats and the use of carbon fibre inserts in the “sports car” version.

High-profile technological optionals are also available, such as electro-optical systems and inset headlights. The colour of the cockpit can be chosen using the paint scheme configurator, a software that offers 10 “themes”. All parts can be modified with eight different colours and the relative shades of each colour. Then there is the choice of an opaque, metallic or pearl finish.

For yacht owners, a Yacht Interface Augmented Reality app has been designed to configure the helicopter, via a tablet, on board the yacht, uploading an image and checking available spaces and blade length (overall length), tie down kit, lashing point and many other details.

The success of this helicopter can be gauged by the number of flying hours flown by the 700 craft that are now operational: over 1,700,000 at the latest count. This shows that the helicopter remains a viable means of flight transport, at least until drones take over the world!

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