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The MBB Bo 105 is a light, twin-engine, multi-purpose utility helicopter developed by Bölkow of Stuttgart, Germany. Production began under Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB), which became a part of Eurocopter in 1991. Eurocopter continued to produce the Bo 105 until 2001. It was replaced in the product line by the EC 135.
The Bo 105A made its maiden flight on the 16th February 1967 at Ottobrunn in Germany with Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm's test pilot, Wilfried von Engelhardt, at the controls. The German Civil Aviation Authority certified the helicopter on 13 October 1970 and production for German civil and law enforcement organizations began shortly afterwards. Further safety certification by the FAA was granted in April 1972 with United States export orders following.
The Bo 105C was developed in 1972 and the German Ministry of Defence selected this model for its light observation helicopter program, purchasing 100 helicopters in 1977. A specialist anti-tank version armed with Euromissile HOT missiles and designated as the Bo 105PAH-1 was procured by the German Army around the same time, with a total of 212 eventually being delivered.
In 1976, the Bo 105CB was developed with more powerful Allison 250-C20B engines. This was further developed as the Bo 105CBS with the enlargement of the fuselage by 10 inches to meet American market demands for emergency medical service operations, with this version becoming known as the Bo 105 Twin Jet in the United States.
In 1984, the Bo 105LS was developed with the enlarged fuselage of the Bo 105CBS combined with more powerful Allison 250-C28C engines to increase the maximum take-off weight.
Production ended in 2001, due to the Bo 105 being superseded by the more modern Eurocopter EC 135, after 1,406 machines had been built.The last BO105-LS was delivered in 2009 to Dam Helicopters Inc. of Nelson, BC, Canada.
Being the first light twin-engined helicopter in commercial service, it gained widespread use over rural areas (police and EMS / medevac) as well as offshore.
The four-blade hingeless main rotor, a worldwide first, with composite blades ensures high maneuverability. A Bo 105CBS used for promotional purposes by Red Bull USA is fully aerobatic, performing loops, rolls, Immelmanns and other maneuvers normally regarded as for fixed-wing aircraft only. All main systems (hydraulics, electric, fuel, lubrication) were designed to be fully redundant.
German PAH-1A1 (military version of Bo 105) with special livery.|
The variants used by the German Army are the Bo 105P and Bo 105M.
- Bo 105A : First production model primarily for civil use and equipped with two Allison 250-C18 turbine engines.
- Bo 105C : Initial version. Developed in 1972 and equipped with two Allison 250-C20 turbines engines.
- Bo 105CB : Light observation, utility transport version. Developed in 1976 and equipped with two Allison 250-C20B turbine engines.
- Bo 105CBS : Utility transport version, with the fuselage stretched by 10 inches for emergency medical service duties.
- Bo 105CBS-5 : Search and rescue version of the Bo 105CBS.
- Bo 105D : UK certified offshore version.
- Bo 105LS A1 : Developed in 1984 with stretched fuselage and two Allison 250-C28C turbine engines.
- Bo 105LS A3 : Developed in 1986 with maximum take-off weight increased to 2,600 kg.
- Bo 105LS A3 "Superlifter" : Developed in 1995 with maximum mission weight increased to 2,850 kg.
- Bo 105P/PAH-1 : With its army designation "PAH-1" and "PAH-1A1" for the upgraded version (PAH=Panzerabwehrhubschrauber; 'Tank-defence helicopter'), is an anti-tank helicopter armed with wire-guided HOT ATGMs (HOT2 for the upgraded A1 version). Most of them are being replaced with the new Eurocopter Tiger multirole attack helicopter, some will still stay in service till the end of their life span. The outphased PAH's are going to be disarmed and downgraded to the VBH version.
- Bo 105P/PAH-1A1 : Improved anti-tank version for the German Army, fitted with six HOT missile tubes.
- Bo 105P/PAH-1 Phase 2 : Proposed night attack version for the German Army.
- Bo 105P/BSH Propoesed escort version for the German Army, armed with Stinger air-to-air missiles.
- Bo 105M : With its army designation "VBH" (Verbindungshubschrauber; 'connection chopper'), is a light transport and surveillance helicopter. They were outphased and replaced by disarmed and modified PAH1.
- Bo 105/Ophelia : Test and trials aircraft fitted with a mast-mounted sight.
- Bo 105ATH : Anti-tank version for the Spanish Army.
- Bo 105GSH : Armed scout version for the Spanish Army.
- Bo 105LOH : Observation version for the Spanish Army.
- Bo 105MSS : Maritime version, fitted a search radar.
- NBO-105 : Manufactured by IPTN under licence from MBB (now Eurocopter) since 1976; only rotors and transmission now supplied by Germany; originally NBO-105 CB, but stretched NBO-105 CBS available from 101st aircraft onwards.
- NBO-105S : Stretched version.
- BO 105 Executaire: Boeing Vertol and Carson Helicopters manufactured a 24.5 cm stretched version of the Bo 105 under license as the Executaire in an attempt to break into the U.S. light helicopter market, but sales were dismal.
- Bo 105E-4 : 12 German Army Bo-105P upgraded and overhauled for a 10 million euro contract and donated to Albania first batch delivered in 2006, the helicopters have better performance and avionics. The conversion of other BO-105 helicopters from the German Armed Forces is also under consideration with a view to future sales.
- EC-Super Five : High performance version of the Bo 105CBS.
The first Bo 105E-4 that entered service with the Albanian Air Brigade in 2006|
Canadian Coast Guard Bo 105|
Mexican Navy BO-105 in 2009|
- Papua New Guinea
- Philippine Navy, 3 Helicopters, used in Search and Rescue, recon & liaison duties
- Sierra Leone
- South Korea
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
Russian MBB Bo-105 at HeliRussia 2008|
- Canadian Coast Guard
- LASSA, Línea de Aeroservicios S.A.
- Czech Republic
- Trinidad and Tobago
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States
Specifications (Bo 105CB)
Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988-89
- Crew: 1 or 2 pilots
- Capacity: 4
- Length: 11.86 m (38 ft 11 in)
- Rotor diameter: 9.84 m (32 ft 3½ in)
- Height: 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)
- Disc area: 76.05 m² (818.6 ft²)
- Airfoil: NACA 23012
- Empty weight: 1,276 kg (2,813 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 2,500 kg (5,511 lb)
- Powerplant: 2× Allison 250-C20B turboshaft engines, 313 kW (420 shp) each
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Published - July 2009