The Story of 86+14 and the Bo 105

The Story of 86+14 and the Bo 105

This new Aviationtag Edition marks new territory for us in two respects. First, because this is our first helicopter and second, because it is our first edition crafted from a German Bundeswehr aircraft – the Bo 105 with the former ID 86+14.

The Bölkow Bo 105 is a helicopter produced by the German manufacturer Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB). The Bundeswehr used it as an anti-armour helicopter, inter alia in Bückeburg, Roth and most recently in Greece as a training helicopter.

Our helicopter’s maiden flight was in 1981, with the Bo 105 86+14 retiring in 2017. After the odd detour, the cabin of the helicopter finally found its way to us and we are very proud to now be announcing this very special Aviationtag Edition!

Ludwig Bölkow and Emil Weiland began designing the Bo 105 in 1961, which would go on to make its maiden flight on 16 February 1967.  As well as being used as a multi-purpose civilian helicopter, the model continues to be deployed mainly by government users such as the police, military, civil defence and disaster relief forces, as well as in air rescue down to this very day. It was in the Bo 105 that the newly developed rigid rotor head was introduced and that twin-engine propulsion with two shaft turbines first came to be used in civilian helicopter construction.

In 1969, before the helicopter entered into series production, Bölkow merged to form the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) group. Decades later in 1991, MBB and Aérospatiale merged to form Eurocopter, now the largest helicopter producer worldwide. Production of the Bo 105 ended in 2001 when Eurocopter introduced its successor, the EC135. By 2001, more than 1400 Bo 105 helicopters had been sold in 55 countries worldwide, many of which are still in service today.

Incidentally, in 2005 the Bo 105 was certified for aerial acrobatics thanks to its good controllability and its rigid rotor head properties, making the Bo 105 the only helicopter to boast this certification to date.

The Bundeswehr deployed the 86+14 as an antiarmour helicopter. The antiarmour helicopter has a reinforced airframe and continuous-wave radar, but in terms of its avionics and dynamic system it is the same as the Bo 105-M. Its weaponry consists of Franco-German antiarmour guided missiles, three of which can be carried on each side in horizontal launching tubes. All its electronics for missile control and tracking are mounted on an equipment rack in the rear main cabin area.

Over the years, the Bundeswehr received a total of 312 Bo 105s, 212 of which were antiarmour helicopters. In December 2016, this era came to an end, marked by a flyover of 18 helicopters from the Celle base. In total, the Bundeswehr racked up almost 1.4 million flying hours with the Bo 105.

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