The Eurocopter EC175 medium twin has set two new time-to-climb records as it zeroes in on certification, four years after its first flight. It climbed to 6,000 meters (19,670 feet) in 6 minutes 54 seconds and to 3,000 meters (9,840 feet) in 3 minutes 10 seconds. The Fédèration Aéronautique Internationale ratified both records, said Eurocopter.
The Marignane, France-based manufacturer expects certification of the new helicopter early next year. As one of the final steps in the process, it has submitted the rotorcraft’s flight manual to the EASA. Meanwhile, the 15th EC175 is on the final assembly line, with three customers scheduled to receive their new helicopters next year.
At its 16,500-pound mtow, the helicopter can take off at an altitude of 4,500 feet in ISA+20 conditions. Maximum radius of action with 16 passengers is 140 nm, while maximum cruise speed is 165 knots. The first prototype made its maiden flight in December 2009, but the program then encountered delays resulting from a performance improvement and development hurdles with the new in-house-designed Helionix avionics.