The EASA certified the Airbus Helicopters EC145T2, an upgraded version of the light twin with new engines and a shrouded tail rotor, late last week. The approval covers the helicopter’s full range of capabilities, the company said, including single-pilot, IFR, Category A takeoff and night-vision-goggles operations.
The certification comes a few months later than expected, delayed by the need to solve an aerodynamic issue in sideways flight. The Helionix avionics suite, developed in-house and featuring a four-axis autopilot, also contributed to the delay.
The helicopter’s 894-shp Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines are more powerful and burn more fuel than the original’s Arriel 1E2s but a larger fuel tank keeps the payload-range capability unchanged. Meanwhile, the EC145T2’s tail rotor has a newly designed gearbox for lower maintenance costs, dual hydraulic circuits and an all-composite tailboom. The manufacturer expects to deliver the first T2 in the third quarter. Approximately 20 T2s are on the assembly line in Donauwörth, Germany, and the manufacturer says it has orders and options in hand for more than 100 copies of the new helicopter.