Eurocopter announced today that its 2011 revenues reached a record €5.4 billion ($7 billion), a 12-percent increase over the previous year. However, deliveries totaled 503 helicopters, short of the 527 handed over in 2010.
Last year, the manufacturer received net orders for 457 rotorcraft, prompting CEO Lutz Bertling to declare that the helicopter market has now recovered. He emphasized the low number of cancellations last year–only 15.
Meanwhile, the company’s X3 compound demonstrator will resume flights in mid-February. Data analysis from the first two flight-test campaigns has produced enough new questions to justify launching a third flight-test campaign, chief technology officer Jean-Michel Billig told AIN. The company intends to explore the behavior of the main rotor at high speed, among other things.
Bertling made it clear Eurocopter also wants to break the unofficial speed record of 250 knots Sikorsky achieved with its X2 compound demonstrator in 2010. Billig predicted the first product using X3 technology may appear in 2020 or 2021. AIN understands it will be the size of a Super Puma.