- 01 Mar 2023
- Mike Chase
- Helicopter Comparisons
The Eurocopter EC120B from Airbus/Eurocopter is a comfortable machine for both executive transport and training with seats for two in front with Eurocopter's VEMD cockpit and three passengers behind. The engine is a 504 shp TurbomecaArrius 2F driving a three-bladed Spheriflex main rotor and it has a skid undercarriage and the unique tail-mounted Fenestron enclosed rotor.
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An EC-120B Colibri costs between $0.50m for a 1997 model and $1.70m for a 2016 model, according to Aircraft Bluebook’s Spring 2023 data. The listed prices represent average retail values for the respective model years. Individual models could sell at above or below the average retail for their production year, depending how well maintained they are, how many hours there are on the engine and airframe, and the proximity of the aircraft to its next major inspection, along with a host of other factors that are specific to the aircraft.
While there are a wide range of options in the single-engine turbine sector of the helicopter market, depending on an operator’s specific demands, in addition to the Eurocopter EC-120B, operators might consider the Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III, which was produced between 1977 and 2010. The JetRanger III and has a range of about 370 nm, and, like the EC-120B, can carry four passengers and one pilot.
The Eurocopter EC-120B/Airbus H120 is a comfortable machine for executive transport, providing high levels of comfort for four passengers and a pilot thanks to its large cabin. It also offers exceptionally low sound levels, helping ensure it does not make a disturbance when flying over urban areas.
The HC120 is a variant of the Eurocopter EC-120B that is produced in China by Harbin.
Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri Helicopter Overview
By Gerrard Cowan - Editor, Aircraft Reviews
The Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri (known as the H120 under Airbus’s new naming convention) carved out a significant presence in the single-engine turbine helicopter market during 20 years of production.
The aircraft was developed by Eurocopter and several partners in the late 1990s, including Harbin Aviation Industries, Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd, and China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation, or CATIC.
It was launched in 1997, with over 100 orders placed by the following year. According to JETNET data, 699 units were produced in total, and the aircraft found service with more than 400 operators around the world.
The Eurocopter EC-120B continues to generate plenty of demand on the pre-owned market today and can carry four passengers and a pilot while offering a range of 383 nautical miles.
What features does the Eurocopter EC-120B offer?
The Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri is powered by a single Arrius 2F engine from Safran Helicopter Engines. Its built-in safety levels are exceptionally high, thanks to the Spheriflex main rotor head, fully compliant crash-resistant fuel system (CRFS), crash-resistant seat and structure (CRSS), all-composite blades, and Fenestron tail rotor.
The aircraft is well-suited to the VIP/corporate markets thanks to its spacious cabin, low sound levels, generous visibility and a substantial luggage compartment. Later models are available with the ‘Airbus Stylence’ interior which is specifically designed with executive comfort in mind.
What came before and after the Eurocopter EC-120B?
In the passenger transport market, the EC-120B has a long and successful heritage. Today, Airbus offers a wide range of aircraft aimed at the VIP/corporate markets, which it caters for through its Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) brand, including the ACH125 (known as the H125 in more general use).
The ACH125 generally holds up to four passengers in VIP/corporate use. The larger ACH130 (or H130 more generally), meanwhile, can carry up to seven passengers and one pilot.
Read Mike Chase's Helicopter Comparison: Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III vs Airbus EC120B
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