Eurocopter is now anticipating that its EC145T2, an upgraded version of the EC145 light twin, will be certified next spring, instead of by year-end. Head of program Manfred Merk told AIN that the first delivery is now slated for the middle of next year.
In explaining the delay, he cited longer-than-expected aerodynamic and avionics development work. “For example, it took us one month to solve a problem that was appearing in sideways flight,” Merk said. The engineers fixed it by reprofiling the edge of the vertical tail fin.
Meanwhile, development of the Helionix avionics for the T2 is also proceeding more slowly than planned. The suite is built around the same core as that of the EC175’s flight deck, and issues with the Helionix system have delayed the EC175 program too. “We could not run the two Helionix efforts in parallel, so the EC175 leads and the EC145T2 follows,” Merk added.
The helicopter’s Turbomeca Arriel 2E engine, however, was certified last December. Eurocopter claims to have received orders for 80 copies of the EC145T2, many for customers in the EMS, police and corporate markets.