Eurocopter’s new medium twin to fly in Farnborough skies

Farnborough Air Show » 2012
July 8, 2012, 2:00 PM

Eurocopter’s new EC175 medium-twin helicopter is appearing in the daily flying display here at the Farnborough International Airshow for the first time. Mainly aimed at the offshore oil market, the helicopter is scheduled to receive certification by the end of this year. Two prototypes have flown since the beginning of the test program in 2009.

Last spring, Transport Canada certified Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6C-67E turboshaft for the new helicopter. The 1,775-shp PT6C features a dual-channelFadec [full-authority digital engine control]. Meanwhile, the airframer has revealed the precise maximum takeoff weight for the helicopter, at 16,535 pounds, for a useful load of 7,271 pounds.

The radius of action, with two pilots and 16 passengers, stands at 135 nm. With 12 passengers, this increases to 190 nm. A high-density version, with 18 passengers, could fly 100 nm off the coast, according to Eurocopter. The EC175’s cruise speed is close to 140 knots.

A search-and-rescue version is being developed, too, and will be fitted with an electro-optic turret under the nose. The cabin, 12.5 feet long and 6.5 feet wide, provides room for “a comprehensive medical installation, the operator console, crew and passenger seats–all while preserving room to maneuver stretchers from the hoist through very large sliding doors,” according to the European airframer.

The EC175 is competing with AgustaWestland’s in-service AW139 and in-development AW189, as well as the Bell 525 Relentless, launched last winter. It is a joint program with China’sAvicopter. The Chinese version, dubbed AC352, will have Turbomeca engines.

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