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Mon, Jan 09, 2012

Eurocopter Says EC175 Exceeds Operational Targets

Claims 30 Percent Increased Performance Over Design Baseline

The next-generation Eurocopter EC175 will incorporate significantly increased range and payload capacity when it enters service at the end of this year, and the company says 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 percent 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 a 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.”

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 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. (Image provided by Eurocopter)



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