Text author: s.chery
Eurocopter’s EC175 – which opens new standards for the medium-sized twin-engine helicopter market segment – has achieved two time-to-climb records, further validating its performance as the rotorcraft’s flight manual is submitted to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as part of the certification process.
These milestones have occurred as Eurocopter targets EASA certification in early 2014, which will be the final step in the program prior to deliveries to the first three customers the same year. In parallel, production ramp-up for the EC175 continues, with the 15th helicopter now on the final assembly line.
“The EC175 confirmed it is the best-performing, most cost-effective and easiest to fly helicopter in its category,” said Laurent Vautherin, head of the EC175 program. “This is a tribute to the teams who have developed the aircraft, as well as the results of our close consultation with the global user community.”
Eurocopter’s two records for the EC175, which have been ratified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, are: time-to-climb to an altitude of 6,000 meters, performed in 6 minutes, 54 seconds; and time-to-climb to 3,000 meters, achieved in 3 minutes 10 seconds.
With designed-in attributes that meet the full range of operating conditions – combined with its speed and range – the EC175 has become the benchmark medium-sized twin-engine helicopter for a full range of missions, including airlift duties for oil and gas operators, search and rescue, emergency medical services, public services, VIP and executive transport.
Contributing to the EC175’s competitive edge is its recommended cruise speed of 150 kts., while the maximum cruise speed exceeds 165 kts. – all achieved at extremely low vibration levels.
The EC175’s excellent power performance includes hover out of ground effect (HOGE) at maximum 7.5-metric-ton take-off weight at 4,500 ft. at ISA+20°C conditions; one engine inoperative (OEI) hover performance, which ensures safety during hosting for search and rescue missions; and extensive power reserve and heli-deck performance (PC1) at maximum take-off weight in ISA+20°C conditions.
The helicopter’s range enables 16 passengers in an oil and gas-configured EC175 to be transported up to distances of 140 naut. mi., with the range approaching 200 naut. mi. when 12 passengers are carried.
High levels of mission flexibility and safety are ensured with the EC175’s new Helionix avionics, which extends the undisputed superiority of in-flight envelope protection, pilot assistance and situational awareness that have been proven on Eurocopter’s EC225 helicopter. Meeting the latest international avionics standards, the Helionix avionics suite incorporates the most innovative alerting and self-monitoring system.
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