The helicopter group of the Sécurité Civile, France’s emergency preparedness organization, has logged 200,000 hours of operation with the Arriel 1E2 turboshafts that power its Eurocopter EC145s. The group has taken delivery of 34 EC145s since 2002.
Eurocopter EC 155
Eurocopter is offering on the EC155 Dauphin the autopilot search-and-rescue (SAR) mode that until now could be found only on the larger EC225 Super Puma. Certified earlier this year on the EC155, the SAR mode gives better stability and precision, particularly in environments where the former SAR mode was not operational.
Eurocopter’s research and development teams are working on several programs
to enhance cabin comfort by creating a smoother–and quieter–ride.
Among the solutions on the horizon is a five-blade main rotor for the EC155
and EC225, and a piezo-active rotor designated Blue Pulse.
AgustaWestland has begun delivering a tailored version of the AW109S Grand to Swiss air rescue organization Rega. The Da Vinci, the result of a set of specifications issued by Rega to replace its A109 K2s, is thus not offered to other customers.
Eurocopter has improved its Dauphin to offer more modern avionics and enhanced passenger comfort. Certification of the new model, dubbed the N3+, is pegged for late this year.
Visually on the outside, the medium twin will differ from the previous models, as the installation of new radar equipment has prompted a redesign of the nose, which will now resemble that of the EC155.
The prototype of the Eurocopter EC 175 made its “official maiden flight” on December 17, almost two weeks after its actual first flight on December 4 in Marignane, France. The flight-test phase is now well under way. The event, attended by customers, employees, suppliers and journalists, was also the opportunity for Eurocopter to highlight the cooperation with China’s Avicopter.
Eurocopter Training Services (ETS) will offer a training module for helideck landing officers (HLOs), the surface personnel in charge of helicopter operations on offshore oil platforms, starting in the middle of next year. The company sees a major market in regions such as Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, where HLOs receive little training, according to ETS officials.
Eurocopter has received orders for 10 EC 155 Dauphins and five AS 350B3 Ecureuils from two Chinese companies. Citic Offshore Helicopter will operate the EC 155s, the deliveries of which will start next year. Meanwhile, the AS 350B3s will be delivered over the next two years to Allyway and leased to various Chinese operators. This is the first order for the B3 variant in China.
Petroleum Air Services (PAS) of Egypt plans to add a third Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter to its fleet and has taken out options for a further two. It received its first EC 135 in late 2007 and the second earlier this year. The aircraft are used to transport oil workers from the Egyptian mainland to offshore oil platforms.
Compared with business jet cabins, helicopter cabins–even those in many executive helicopters–lean toward the utilitarian. Now American Eurocopter, in partnership with Heritage Aviation Services (both in Grand Prairie, Texas), has designed a cabin interior for the EC 155 that offers business jet amenities along with embedded acoustical barriers for improved soundproofing.