The High Flyers: How Airbus Helicopters Delivers Next-Generation Helicopters




Airbus Helicopters is an industry-leading helicopter manufacturer with 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Its 12,000 helicopters serve various uses including emergency medical service, public service such as search and rescue, law enforcement and firefighting, commercial air transport, oil and gas support duties, and private and business aviation. 

“The DNA of Airbus Helicopters is around customer satisfaction, high quality, safety, and competitiveness,” says Franck Dessenis, Vice President, H160 Program Management at Airbus Helicopters, in a recent video.  It’s this DNA that drives innovation at the company and that led to the development of its H160 helicopter.

The H160 was designed to be multi-purpose for all types of missions and with all types of passengers throughout the world. Creating an advanced helicopter like this was a very ambitious program to undertake, according to Dessenis – with a successful launch, the company could meet its goals to gain market share and reach a major milestone in its history of innovation. 

Airbus Helicopters needed a product lifecycle management partner to ensure that the H160 helicopter would be delivered on time and on quality. It found that partner in PTC. “Windchill technology is bringing several benefits to the H160 program,” says Dessenis. The first benefit he outlines is concurrent engineering, the second is appropriate and accurate configuration management, and the third is transparency, which is essential for helping Airbus Helicopter monitor all of the progress of the program on a day to day, or week to week basis.

Windchill enabled Airbus Helicopters to consolidate product data from multiple systems into one system that could be accessed by all of the various teams working on the H160. Geraldine Thiercelin, Vice President of R&D Processes and Quality at Airbus Helicopters, said she was able to see firsthand how Windchill benefited the H160 compared to other programs she was working on at the time that were not using the solution: “One tool to manage the Bill of Materials, one other tool to manage the change, a third one to manage the documents… We just spend too much time realigning all this data,” she explains in the video. “That’s a very obvious benefit of Windchill technology: having that information in one system in order to have instant consistency.”

Watch the video to learn more about how Airbus Helicopters deployed Windchill and enlisted the help of PTC Global Services for their H160 program.