Airbus Helicopters is testing its Full Icing Protection System on the H175 to expand the aircrafts flight envelope. The campaign kicked off in southern Ontario, Canada in late 2023, with testing currently continuing in parallel in Norway on a second aircraft.

Developed by Airbus more than a decade ago, FIPS features include heated main and tail rotor blades, which essentially melt ice and snow as they hit the blades. It also includes a winter kit (already certified for limited icing conditions) for engine air intake, a horizontal stabilizer protection plate, an ice detector and a heated windscreen to help maintain visibility and navigate the helicopter safely in IMC.

In addition to this, an electrical power distribution system, which is used to heat the main and the rear blades, is currently being enhanced for the H175 as it recently finalised its latest   season of icing testing. Marc Prunel, Experimental Test Pilot who recently embarked on the super-medium helicopter’s de-icing journey, explains the ease in using the system. “The pilot starts the system once the first visual detectors pick up icing. Once activated, the system works automatically, making the workload for the pilot negligible.”