30% Increased Performance for Eurocopter’s EC175
The next-generation Eurocopter EC175 will incorporate significantly increased range and payload capacity when it enters service at the end of this year, and will be the first seven metric ton-category helicopter delivered with such capabilities.
In releasing EC175 enhanced performance specifications today, Eurocopter announced a baseline payload/radius-of-action capacity with 16 passengers at 135 nautical miles when configured for offshore oil and gas missions, out-performing any medium-lift helicopter on the market in terms of competitiveness.
This represents a 30% performance increase compared with the initial performance baseline. For longer-range missions, EC175 can transport 12 passengers to a radius of action of 190 nautical miles.
In addition, Eurocopter has launched the development of an 18 passengers configuration option, aiming at carrying those 18 passengers to a radius-of-action of 100 nautical miles.
“Eurocopter has maintained a two-way dialog with operators and end-users throughout the EC175’s development program, providing us with an ever better understanding of their operational needs from 2012 and beyond,” explained Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling.
“As a result, we have incorporated certain adaptations that will further improve the helicopter’s operational capability, placing it ahead of the competition from its entry into service,” Bertling added.
The EC175 program is progressing well, with first deliveries targeted in late 2012 following certification in the offshore mission configuration with the enhanced performance.
Ongoing testing continues to validate the EC175’s rugged design, including cold and hot weather trials, bird strike tests, and gearbox operation for 30 minutes after loss of oil. Two EC175 prototypes have logged more than 270 flight hours to date and industrial activity is continuing – with the first two serial aircraft being assembled at the Eurocopter’s Marignane facility in France.
Eurocopter will support its EC175 operators for an easy entry into service, facilitated by on-board maintainability - and reliability - enhancing features such as a monitoring system with an on-ground maintenance reporting capability to facilitate troubleshooting, HUMS (Health and Usage Monitoring System), 3D technical publications, full-flight simulators, optimized scheduled maintenance through MSG-3, and a continuous maintenance review board process incorporating input from operators.
All of this will be complemented by the Eurocopter Group’s support organization and the establishment of dedicated entry-into-service services.