Eurocopter Delivers 1000th Dauphin, Working On N3e

 - April 21, 2011, 10:00 AM

Eurocopter this week delivered the 1,000th Dauphin medium twin, with the milestone copy going to India-based Pawan Hans Helicopters. The aircraft, an AS365N3, was handed over in an offshore configuration. Pawan Hans is the world’s largest civil operator of the model, with a fleet of 35 Dauphins. The Indian firm’s Dauphin fleet has logged about 375,000 flight hours, with an availability rate of “more than 80 percent.” The global Dauphin fleet, in service with 300 customers in 69 countries, has accumulated 5.1 million flight hours. Eurocopter is now working on a new version of the venerable rotorcraft. From its first delivery in late 2013, the AS365N3e–launched last month at Heli-Expo–will feature new Turbomeca Arriel 2N turboshafts with dual-channel Fadec. In addition, Eurocopter will use the main gearbox from the EC155, a new Starflex rotor head and a reinforced main rotor mast. These upgrades are to provide a 15-percent increase in power for “better performance, a significant payload gain [with the mtow increased from 9,500 to 9,900 pounds] and reductions in operating costs.” The codenamed X4 program, which is about to be fully launched, will eventually supersede the Dauphin