In a trial, Airbus Helicopters and partners demonstrated the role of helicopters in supporting floating wind farms. In challenging conditions off the coast of Bergen, Norway, helicopters from KN Helicopters and HTM Helicopters hoisted cargo and crew members onto floating wind turbines in the Hywind Tampen wind farm.
The Airbus-led team, after a year of preparation, obtained special permits from the Norwegian aviation authority and conducted safety audits to ensure the feasibility of the operation. Despite rough autumn conditions, including 30 knots of wind and sea state 6, the helicopters successfully showcased their capability to position technicians on the turbines safely and efficiently. Earlier, they lifted cargo onto the nacelle in almost 50 knots of wind and sea state 6. The trial's success highlights the potential for helicopters to play a crucial role in offshore wind farm maintenance, particularly in challenging sea states. The collected data will contribute to the development of standard operating procedures for hoisting to floating turbines, marking a positive step forward for this emerging technology in renewable energy production.