Airbus makes progress with new shaft for EC225s/EC725s
Oct. 16, 2014, Marignane, Fra. - Airbus Helicopters is working alongside operators of its EC225 and EC725 aircraft to implement the final step of its proven solution: the retrofit of the worldwide EC225/EC725 fleet with the redesigned bevel gear vertical shaft, which was certified in April of this year.
By Carey Fredericks
Since the previous safety measures were put in place in July 2013, the oil & gas fleet has progressively returned to full service and has successfully flown more than 80,000 hours. With the introduction of the new shaft, the previous safety measures and corresponding maintenance actions are no longer necessary.
The retrofit involves 260 helicopters and will span approximately 18 months in order to safely and efficiently equip all in-service helicopters with the redesigned shaft. A dedicated industrial organization has been set up to minimize the impact on customers.
Some 50 aircraft are flying with the redesigned shaft and have accumulated more than 5,000 hours.
“Airbus Helicopters is dedicated to ensuring the safe and high-performing operations of our customers,” said Marie-Agnes Veve, head of the Super Puma and EC225/EC725 programs at Airbus Helicopters. “Our skilled teams are fully mobilized and working closely with them around the world to carry out the retrofits of their EC225s/EC725s in the most efficient manner possible.”
The retrofit is carried out by module or main gear box exchange either during standard maintenance activity or proactively as organized with customers.
In addition, all new EC225/EC725 helicopters are delivered with the redesigned shaft installed.
The EC225/725 is an 11-ton-class rotorcraft and the latest evolution in Airbus Helicopters’ Super Puma family. With more than 375,000 flight hours logged in worldwide service to date, it is deployed in duties ranging from offshore transportation and cargo airlift to search and rescue (SAR), parapublic operations and military missions. More than 200 EC225/725s have been delivered to 35 operators.