Airbus Helicopters EC175 Nears EASA Nod
Airbus Helicopters (née Eurocopter) CEO Guillaume Faury announced today that the EC175 medium twin “successfully completed the EASA certification process yesterday” and the type certificate is to be issued in the coming days. (On Twitter, the EASA described the milestone as the “completion of the technical process” and said the type certificate will be handed over in the first quarter.) Fifteen EC175s are on the final assembly line, he said, speaking at the company’s annual press conference in Paris.
Three launch customers–NHV, UTair and Héli-Union–expect to receive their first aircraft in the second half. In the meantime, Airbus is working on the production process, especially as some design modifications arrived late in the certification program and have to be integrated into production aircraft, Dominique Maudet, executive vice president of global business and services, told AIN.
Faury clarified that the EASA certification includes all mission systems for offshore oil-and-gas operations. Training is ready to begin on the first EC175 flight simulator next to Airbus Helicopters’ headquarters in Marignane, France. The next step is FAA certification, anticipated in the middle of the year, with FAA pilots scheduled to fly the aircraft next month. The EC175 first flew in 2009, at which time the first delivery was still planned for 2012.