The BK-117 medium-weight multipurpose helicopter programme was given the go-ahead on 25 February 1977 with the signing of an agreement between the German consortium +Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm+. and the Japanese company +Kawasaki Heavy Industries+., following more than two years negotiation. Both partners could boast considerable experience in the rotary wing sector and the new aircraft, which was an eight-ten-seater, was intended to replace two projects studied independently by the two companies: the German Bo.107 and the +Japanese KH-7+.. Joint development costs were to be divided equally, the financing being guaranteed by the respective governments. MBB was to be responsible for the main rotor and tail rotor, tail boom, empennage, hydraulic system and controls, while Kawasaki was to develop the landing gear, fuselage, transmission and other minor components.
The original programme was based on four prototypes, two to be built by MBB in Munich and two by Kawasaki in Gifu, all to be completed by mid 1979. In each case, one of the prototypes was intended for flight testing and the other for static tests. However although the German company succeeded in completing its two models by the end of 1979, only one of the Japanese prototypes was ready on time.
The relationship of the BK-117 to the +Bo.105+. is evident in many respects. Firstly, a fair percentage of parts and systems are identical to those of the German helicopter. The hydraulic system is based on the original Bo.105 version and even the rotor is taken from the Bo.105, suitably enlarged to match the demands of the bigger and heavier BK-117. The four-blade rotor is of the rigid type with a titanium hub and reinforced fiberglass blades. The transmission is, of course, derived from the Japanese KH-7 project: a seven-ten-seat helicopter which was to have been fitted with two 590shp Lycoming turbine engines. The BK-117 in fact also has a pair of Avco-Lycoming LTS-101-650B-1 engines, delivering 600shp on take-off and 550shp maximum continuous power. The fuel tanks, with a total capacity of 605 liters, are housed in the lower part of the fuselage.
The executive version of the BK-117 carries a pilot and five passengers, but given the volume of 3.22m there is ample room for nine passengers in the high density version or in those used for commuter and offshore services to oil platforms. In the latter roles, it can carry a substantial payload, and even bulky goods can be easily loaded through two large sliding doors, one on either side of the fuselage. Behind the passenger cabin is a large baggage hold with a capacity of 1.34m, which is reached through two hinged doors at the rear of the fuselage. Alternatively, the helicopter can be equipped to carry four stretchers plus two medical attendants; other roles include fire-fighting, search and rescue operations, or a cargo hook can be fitted to the cabin floor for external lift work.
The first German prototype flew on 13 June 1979 and the third (Japanese) aircraft on 10 August of that year. Production was initiated almost immediately and a year later, more than 100 BK-117s had been ordered. By the beginning of 1982, the BK-117 prototypes had logged more than 750 flying hours and type approval by the German Federal Authorities followed shortly afterwards. Half of the 130 aircraft ordered by February 1982 were for customers in the United States, where deliveries began in early 1983.
Eurocopter BK117 German Police Model
Production Time 8 to 10 weeks
Shipment is by FedEx, UPS or DHL International Express Courier with a normal door-to-door delivery time worldwide of within 2-3 business days after dispatch. Due to the current volatility of world fuel prices, the amount mentioned here is our best estimate for DHL and UPS and may be subject to change at the time of shipping.
Product statisticsLength: 16 in (40.64 cm) ;
Rotor Diameter: 17.8 in (45.21 cm) ;
Height: 6.2 in (15.75 cm)
Manufacturer: Eurocopter Bolkow
Production Time 8 to 10 weeks