Messerschmitt/Bölkov Helicopter

The Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 is a light, twin-engine, multi-purpose helicopter developed by Bölkow of Ottobrunn, Germany.

Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105

Design and development

The Bo 105 has a reputation for having high levels of maneuverability; certain variants have been designed for aerobatic maneuvers and used for promotional purposes by operators, one such operator in this capacity being professional pilot Chuck Aaron, flying for Red Bull. During the 1970s, the Bo 105 was known for having a great useful load capacity and higher cruise speed than the majority of its competitors. While not being considered a visually attractive helicopter by some pilots, the Bo 105 was known for possessing steady, responsive controls and a good flight attitude. Most models could perform steep dives, rolls, loops, turnovers, and various aerobatic maneuvers; according to MBB the Bo 105 is cleared for up to 3.5 positive G force and one negative. One benefit of the Bo 105's handling and control style is superior takeoff performance, including significant resistance to catastrophic dynamic rollover; a combination of light weight and the twin-engined configuration enables a rapid ascent in a performance takeoff.

 

Perhaps the most significant feature of the Bo 105 is its rotor blades and rotor head. The rotor system is entirely hingeless, the rotor head consisting of a solid titanium block to which the four blades are bolted; the flexibility of the rotor blades works to absorb movements typically requiring hinges in most helicopter rotor designs. The rotor blades are made from reinforced-plastic glass-fiber composite material; the flexibility of the main rotor allows for active elements other than rotor pitch changes to be removed, greatly simplifying maintenance and extending blade lifespan. The reliability of the advanced rotor system is such that, in over six million operating hours across the fleet, there was a total of zero failures (as of 1991). The rigid rotor blade design adopted on the Bo 105 has been partially responsible for the type's agility and responsiveness; it remained an uncommon feature on competing helicopters throughout the Bo 105's production life.

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The Bo 105 gained widespread use by emergency medical service (EMS) / medevac operators; in 1998, Flying Magazine reported that between the Bo 105 and the MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 (a newer rotorcraft derived from the Bo 105), MBB held 35% of the EMS market share. The first EMS-orientated Bo 105 in Scotland entered service in 1989; in November 2015, the last Bo 105 air ambulance operated in Britain was retired, the type having typically been replaced by the newer Eurocopter EC135. In 2009, the last Bo 105 to be produced was purchased by Canadian EMS specialist Dam Helicopters.

 

Eurocopter Helicopter
Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105

The Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 is a light, twin-engine, multi-purpose helicopter developed by Bölkow of Ottobrunn, Germany. It holds the distinction of being the first light twin-engine helicopter in the world, and is the first rotorcraft that could perform aerobatic maneuvers, such as inverted loops. The Bo 105 features a revolutionary hingeless rotor system, at that time a pioneering innovation in helicopters when it was introduced into service in 1970. Production of the Bo 105 began at the then-recently merged Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB).

  • History

    Role Light utility helicopter

    Manufacturer Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB)

    First flight 16 February 1967

    Introduction 1970

    Status In service

  • General info

    Primary users Republic of Korea Army

    Indonesian Army

    Spanish Army

    Philippine Navy

    Produced 1967–2001

  • Performance

    Number built 1,500+

    Unit cost

    $354,700 (1975)

    $1.86 million (1991)

    Developed into MBB/Kawasaki BK 117

    Eurocopter EC135

Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105

Aircrafttotaal

Civil versions were not marketed under the Sycamore name, they were instead known simply as the Bristol Type 171. By May 1958, over 150 Sycamores had been manufactured and four units per month were being built.

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