Offshore-oil Eurocopter EC175 Pegged for 2012 Approval

 - April 14, 2011, 9:45 AM

Eurocopter confirmed that it plans to gain type certification for the EC175 medium twin this year while clarifying that it expects complementary certification for the offshore-oil configuration by the middle of next year. This configuration is that of the second prototype, which has been flying since December. It includes features such as emergency flotation gear, life rafts, radio navigation system and dual FMS, Tcas II and air conditioning. Spain-based Indra will manufacture the first flight simulator for the type, to be installed at the training center in Marignane, France. The sim is slated to be ready to train pilots ahead of the first deliveries, which are slated for next year. The launch customer is Bristow. The MSG-3 maintenance program is also said to be on schedule. Meanwhile, a third prototype is expected to fly by December. Among other roles, it will be used for the certification of an ice-protection system by 2016. The EC175 is a 50-50 joint program with China’s Avicopter.