Innovation and Speed, Like You've Never Seen Before
Eurocopter is less than two weeks away from shining in the spotlight of this year’s Paris Air Show with its latest innovative products on flight and static displays and an exciting event organized exclusively for Ecureuil-family operators.
Making its first-ever public debut, Eurocopter’s high-speed, hybrid helicopter demonstrator—coined the X3—is certain to awe the crowds. During daily air demos, the X3 will reveal its unique and powerful combination of vertical takeoff and landing capabilities with aircraft-type fast cruise speeds, along with the EC175 medium twin first prototype (PT1)—an aircraft developed and manufactured in cooperation with China Aeronautics Industries Group Corp. (AVIC), a long-standing Eurocopter partner.
These two rotorcraft, in addition to one of Eurocopter’s enhanced line of helicopters—the single-engine AS350 B3e in Stylence configuration—will be on display at the Le Bourget heliport (Chalet H). Also at the Chalet H, Eurocopter will host a special event on June 23, inviting Ecureuil-family operators from around the world to join them in celebrating the long and successful history of this helicopter family.
EADS’ static display will include an impressive and diverse array of Eurocopter helicopters, such as an EC135 from the French Gendarmerie; a life-size mock-up of the brand-new Fenestron-equipped EC145 T2 in its Stylence version; a life-size mock-up of the EC175 in its Search and Rescue (SAR) configuration and an AS535 MB Panther from the Bulgarian Air Force equipped with the Stand-Alone Weapon System (SAWS). This system was developed by Eurocopter and the French airborne systems integrator, ATE.
Additional Eurocopter products will be present at the show, including an EC725 Caracal and a Tiger at the French General Directorate for Armament (DGA)’s static display.
Finally, NH90 NFHs will be displayed on both the DGA’s and NHIndustries’ static display.
This week, Eurocopter and its Brazilian subsidiary, Helibras, are participating in the 2011 LAAD Defense & Security exhibition in Rio de Janeiro. The EC725 helicopter is being spotlighted, underscoring Brazil’s major acquisition of this military aircraft and the key industrial role of Helibras in their production.
As the only Brazilian helicopter manufacturer, Helibras supplies over 50 percent of the country’s turbine-powered helicopters, and has delivered more than 500 aircraft in its 33 years of operation to meet the requirements of governmental, military and civil customers.
At Itajubá, Helibras is preparing for the assembly of EC725s, which the Brazilian government contracted in 2008 to acquire 50 helicopters for transport and civil security missions.
At the exhibition, Helibras also is also exhibiting the AS550 A2 Fennec operated by the Brazilian Army – and which will be modernized by the company in a upgrade program that will ensure the continued operation of these helicopters for at least 25 additional years.
Finally, Helibras is also displaying a single-engine EC130 fitted with an aeromedical kit, along with a twin-engine HM-1 Pantera – the version of Eurocopter’s AS565 in service with the Brazilian Army. Helibras has a contract to upgrade 34 of their HM-1 Panteras, which will extend the current fleet’s operating lifetime by at least 25 years.
American Eurocopter is pleased to announce that the Ontario (CA) Police Department has ordered their third AS350 B2. The aircraft, which will enter service in late spring, will primarily be used for aerial patrol and special operations surveillance.
UTair Aviation signs a firm order for 15 Eurocopter EC175 helicopters
Russia's UTair Aviation today signed a firm contract for the acquisition of 15 EC175 helicopters, extending its long-term strategic partnership with Eurocopter and the Eurocopter Vostok subsidiary in Russia and the CIS.
More innovation with Eurocopter’s signature tail rotor
The Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, which was pioneered by Eurocopter and has been applied on five of its helicopter products, has been further improved and optimized for its newest application on the EC145 T2 that was unveiled this week at Heli-Expo 2011.
Overall advantages of the Fenestron include significantly higher safety levels on the ground, during landing/takeoff operations in confined areas, and in flight; enhanced anti-torque control efficiency; reduced power demand in forward flight; and lower sound and vibration levels.
For the EC145 T2, Eurocopter has sized the Fenestron at a diameter of 1.15 meters. Among its features is the use of 10 composite blades, each of which is mounted using integrated tension/torsion straps. This application of the integrated blade and strap design eliminates blade mount joints, removing the opportunity for corrosion build-up, and significantly improving maintenance with easy blade removal and reinstallation.
The EC145 T2’s Fenestron is driven by an all-new lightweight gearbox that has a high operating lifetime, and the helicopter’s tail rotor drive shaft utilizes state-of-the-art ceramic bearing supports with very good corrosion resistance and a longer lifetime. Another new feature is the EC145 T2 Fenestron’s installation on an all-composite tail boom, which has a damage-tolerant design and includes provisions for easy customizing – including the installation of antennas.
The successor to Dauphin will transform the helicopter industry
While Eurocopter is keeping the successor to its Dauphin helicopter family under wraps, some details have been revealed that underscore the game-changing aspect of this next-generation rotary-wing aircraft.
Speaking to journalists at Heli-Expo 2011, Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling said the AS365/EC155’s follow-on—which is designated the X4—will usher in a totally new way of flying.
“We are pursuing technologies for this helicopter that today are at a low maturity level,” Bertling explained. “Eurocopter is looking for a very significant increase in payload and performance, with an aircraft that has enhanced mission capabilities, is more environmentally friendly, and provides a significantly higher level of assistance for the pilot along with increased flight safety.”
Eurocopter is working closely with its suppliers in areas such as propulsion and avionics, Bertling said, adding that the X4’s configuration will dramatically transform the traditional configuration of a helicopter. “Sitting in the X4, one thing will immediately become evident: The cockpit as we know it today will not be there.”
Eurocopter Gives a Strong Performance at Heli-Expo
Signatures and agreements for more than 60 helicopters
This year’s Heli-Expo exposition in Orlando, Florida, was clearly marked by the feeling of increased business activity and, in general, a more upbeat atmosphere. The results of this activity is expected to begin to “fill the pipeline” beginning later this year and from 2012 with new orders.
Eurocopter was a true star at the show with its unveiling of the EC145 T2. The ceremony brought the entire show’s focus to Eurocopter’s exhibit stand, attracting a standing-room-only crowd to witness the helicopter’s rollout. Eurocopter also created a buzz with the unveiling of its “e” family enhancements, highlighted by the AS350 B3e on the exhibit stand.
Throughout the three-day show, Eurocopter demonstrated its ability to bring in new business, even in today’s challenging market conditions, with orders and agreements for an impressive 63 helicopters at Heli-Expo. The orders breakdown as follows: 17 EC175s,15 EC145 T2s, five EC145s, eight EC135es, ten AS350 B3es, two AS350 B3s, four AS350 B2s and two EC130s.
Eurocopter has a proven track record of consistently providing customers with the most innovative, eye-catching Heli-Expo exhibit presence, year after year.
Today Eurocopter Mexico announced a signature for five EC145s with an option for five additional machines with its long-standing Mexican customer, Transportes Aéreos Pegaso. Deliveries of the EC145 are set to begin as early as April of this year. The helicopters will be used for transportation missions for the Mexican government’s electricity company CFE (Comisión Federal de Electricidad).
During the signing, Vice President of Commercial Programs Joseph Saporito, Eurocopter Mexico CEO Serge Durand and EC45 Program Director Manfred Merk thanked Mr. Enrique Zepeda Navarro, Director General of Pegaso, for the company’s thirty-year loyalty to Eurocopter products and congratulated Pegaso for reaching the 6,000 flight-hour mark with one of their EC145s - a world first.
Pegaso, which operates one of the biggest Eurocopter fleets in Latin America, performs passenger and equipment transportation to the oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Its exclusively Eurocopter fleet includes 2 EC130s, 2 EC135s, 6 EC145s, 5 BK117 C1s, 2 BK117 B2s, 1 BO105 CBS and 1 EC155 B1.
Last year at Heli-Expo, Eurocopter congratulated Pegaso for being Eurocopter Mexico’s first customer to acquire the EC155 B1.
The compact system can be shipped to a customer’s location for on-site training
A compact ground-based simulator for the AS350 B3 has made a big impact at Heli-Expo 2011, where this procedural training device attracted significant attention from operators of the high-performance member in Eurocopter’s AStar/Ecureuil helicopter family.
The device was developed by Indra Systems as a supplement to the AS350 Level B full-flight simulator, and was delivered to American Eurocopter’s Grand Prairie, Texas, headquarters facility along with the main simulator in 2010.
This compact system, designated by American Eurocopter as the Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD), enables pilots to practice start-up and shut-down procedures on the AS350 B3, along with radio and systems operations, as well as emergency procedures—all without having to access the actual helicopter. It also can be used to train maintenance personnel, including the handling of flight reports from the helicopter’s Vehicle and Engine Management Display (VEMD).
Included in the AATD is a central flat screen that represents the cockpit instrumentation—complete with its VEMD, while the AS350 B3’s navigation and communications avionics are mounted on side panels. A 40-inch liquid crystal display screen provides computer-generated visuals that allow pilots to practice basic flight skills, using a basic cyclic, collective and pedals.