The Eurocopter AS350B3e, the latest version of the venerable Ecureuil/Astar light single helicopter, was certified in June, the company announced last week. A more powerful 950-shp Turbomeca Arriel 2D (in lieu of the 848-shp Arriel 2C1), features a new axial compressor, new blade material and a dual-channel Fadec. It is said to provide better performance for less fuel consumption.
Eurocopter EC 155
The University of Michigan Hospital’s Survival Flight program will take delivery of the first EMS-configured Eurocopter EC155 to be placed in U.S. service in October. The medical interior completion is being done by Metro Aviation in Shreveport, La. This is the first of three EC155s expected to join the Survival Flight program.
Eurocopter has fully launched the replacement program for its AS365/EC155 Dauphin and is targeting 2016 for entry into service for the first iteration, with a more advanced version to enter service several years later. Codenamed X4, the helicopter will feature a radically new cockpit, fly-by-wire controls and low-noise main rotor blades.
Turbomeca has received EASA certification for its 950-shp Arriel 2D turboshaft, destined to power the Eurocopter AS350B3e Squirrel. The Arriel 2D is said to provide better performance (its predecessor stood at 848 shp) for lower fuel consumption. The initial 4,000-hour TBO is expected to increase to 6,000 hours.
Helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca (Hall 2A A232) is busy developing improved models for new Eurocopter variants in the light-single and medium-twin helicopter categories, as well as an engine family that will power China’s and Russia’s forays in medium twins.
Eurocopter released details late in April about the development of the seven-metric-ton-class EC175 twin, confirming plans for type certification this year but clarifying that a complementary certification for the offshore oil-and-gas configuration is expected by the middle of next year. This configuration has features such as emergency flotation gear, life rafts, radio navigation system and dual FMS, Tcas II and air conditioning.
Eurocopter delivered the 1,000th Dauphin medium twin in late April, to India-based Pawan Hans Helicopters. The aircraft, an AS365N3, was handed over in an offshore configuration. The global Dauphin fleet, in service with 300 customers, has accumulated 5.1 million flight hours. Eurocopter is working on a new version, the AS365N3e, with deliveries expected to begin in late 2013.
Eurocopter this week delivered the 1,000th Dauphin medium twin, with the milestone copy going to India-based Pawan Hans Helicopters. The aircraft, an AS365N3, was handed over in an offshore configuration. Pawan Hans is the world’s largest civil operator of the model, with a fleet of 35 Dauphins.
With dry ice, bright lights, loud music, CEO Lutz Bertling in the cockpit and four glamorous passengers in helmets and flight suits, Eurocopter rolled out its newest helicopter here at Heli-Expo shortly after the convention opened yesterday morning. The EC145T2 introduces a fenestron, new engines, a new main gearbox and what Bertling described as “25 percent more mission performance” than its predecessor.