A new artist rendering of the in-development Eurocopter X4 medium-twin helicopter appeared today during a presentation made at the EASA Rotorcraft Symposium in Cologne, showing design changes made since 2011. A horizontal empennage with a two-level lifting surface is visible on the tailboom, forward of the shrouded tail rotor. The fuselage, aft of the cabin, includes a “skirt,” the role of which is still unknown.
Its main rotor retains five blades, which seem to be drawn from the Blue Edge research blades, have a double-swept design intended to reduce blade-vortex interaction and noise. The X4, a replacement for the AS365/EC155 Dauphin series, will compete in the 9,000- to 12,000-pound category and be released in two versions.
The first, less advanced, version of the helicopter will enter service in 2017. In 2020, the second iteration of the X4 will feature a cockpit with advanced human-machine interface and fly-by-wire controls. Customers will have the choice between two 1,100-shp engine options: the Turbomeca TM800 or the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210. Messier-Bugatti-Dowty will supply electric brakes.