EC 135 sheds EMS flight suit for business attire

 - May 23, 2007, 6:38 AM

The twin-engine Eurocopter EC  135 helicopter, well established in the emergency medical services and law enforcement sectors, is gaining greater acceptance as an executive aircraft, with about 100 delivered to this market, according to the manufacturer. Here at EBACE, Eurocopter (Booth No. 7513) is showing one of these aircraft, OE-XFB–owned by The Flying Bulls of Austria.

The Franco-German helicopter manufacturer, an EADS company, reported it has increased production of the EC 135 to more than 100 units per year, about a 40 percent increase over last year. Before the opening of EBACE, the EC 135 order book stood at about 700 units.

The newest version of the model, dubbed the EC 135T2i (with Turbomeca engines) and EC 135P2i (with Pratt & Whitney Canada powerplants), developed over the last year, includes an increase in mtow to 6,402 pounds (2,910 kg) from 6,237 pounds (2,835 kg) and a reduction in empty weight to 3,201 pounds (1,455 kg). The result is an increase in useful load by 176 pounds (80 kg), equating to one more passenger, about 55 nm more range or 30 minutes more endurance.

Eurocopter is announcing here in Geneva that it is installing flight training devices for the EC 135 at its Donauwörth, Germany and Dallas, Texas facilities later this year. The company expects the simulators, which are being designed by CAE and Indra in cooperation with Eurocopter, will be approved to JAR Standard 2H and FAA Part 60 Level 6 next March.