Airbus Helicopters is increasing the mtow of the EC175 medium twin by 660 pounds, to 17,180 pounds, thus offering an equivalent growth in payload or an extra 40 nm in radius of action. Certification at the higher weight is expected in 2016, following a flight-test campaign scheduled for next year.
Now on a demonstration tour, the current version of the EC175 is visiting three locations serving the North Sea this week–Norwich, England; Aberdeen, Scotland; and Stavanger, Norway–all major bases for offshore oil-and-gas operations.
Meanwhile, at the company headquarters in Marignane, France, 14 EC175s are on the final assembly line, including the first one for a private individual. In addition, Airbus Helicopters is training maintenance technician instructors on a dedicated mockup made of real parts and has trained the first flight instructors. A flight and navigation pilot trainer has been certified, and a level-D simulator is pending approval. First deliveries of the baseline EC175 are planned for the second half to UTAir, Heli-Union and NHV.