The Flying Tiger

The Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm BO 105 is the world’s first light twin engined helicopter.The BO 105 has won a well-deserved reputation for performance and reliability since it first flew over 40 years ago.Nicknamed the Flying Tiger this little helicopter is a delight to fly, offering great agility and superb flying characteristics thanks to its rigid rotor.Unlike most helicopters, the BO 105 is fully aerobatic offering great performance and maneouvrability.

The B0 105 light general purpose helicopter program started in 1962.The first prototype V-1 was fitted with a conventional Westland Scout articulated rotor and was destroyed during ground resonance tests.The V-2 prototype was fitted with the four blade hingeless rotor and on 16 February 1967 flew for the first time at Ottobrun (Munich) with Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm’s test pilot at the controls, Wilfried von Engelhardt.The helicopter demonstrated excellent controllability and maneouvrability.

Due to its rigid rotor the Flying Tiger offers remarkable map of the earth flight characteristics and also the ability to execute fully aerobatic maneouvers including loops and rolls.Production started on 13 October 1970 and nearly 1400 have been built by 2001 when production ceased, the BO 105 being superseded by the newer and more modern Eurocopter 135.

Technical data for MBB BO 105

Engine: 2 x Allison 250-C20B turboshaft, rated at 313kW
Main rotor diameter: 9.84m
Length with rotors turning: 11.86m
Height: 3m
Take-off weight: 2400kg
Empty weight: 1256kg
Cruising speed: 270km/h
Ceiling: 5180m
Range with max payload: 658km

Bo 105 variants

BO 105C: Initial production version offered with either 236kW Allison 250-C18 or 298kW 250-C20 turboshaft engines.

BO 105 CB: Standard production version from 1975, with two Allison 250-C20B engines, operable in air temperatures ranging from -45 to +54°C. LBA certification received in November 1976.

BO 105 LS B-1: One-off testbed C-FMCL, powered by two 307kW Pratt & Whitney Canada PW 205B turboshafts, made first flight 13 October 1988.

BO 105 LS: Canadian-built version of BO 105 CBS with increased power.

BO 105 M (VBH): Liaison and light observation helicopter for the Federal German Army, with strengthened transmission gearing, reinforced rotor components, a tail rotor with improved thrust and performance, a rupture-proof fuel system and a landing gear able to absorb higher energy levels.

BO 105 CBS-4: Version with increased rear seat leg room in a cabin extended by a 0.25m plug. Available in five-seat executive or six-seat high-density configurations.

BO 105 CBS-5: Military army/naval version for armed and non-armed missions; can be equipped with anti-tank missiles, rocket launchers.

BO 105 LSA-3: Hot-and-high versionwith uprated transmission and Allison 250-C28 turboshaft engines, rated at 410kW for 30 seconds. Built solely by Eurocopter Canada at its Fort Erie, Ontario plant.

BO 105 LSA-3 Super Lifter: Optimised for external load and heavylift missions; max T-O weight 2,850kg; upgraded tail rotor derived from BK 117C-1. Built solely by Eurocopter Canada.

EC Super Five: High-performance version of BO 105 CBS-4, new main rotor blades, improved performance and reduced vibration; dual flying controls as standard.

Here are some videos showcasing the helicopters exceptional maneouvrability and flight characteristics.

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