Eurocopter innovation to dazzle Paris skies
June 14, 2011 By Carey Fredericks
June 14, 2011, Marignane, Fra. - Eurocopter’s commitment to innovation will be showcased at the 2011 Paris Air Show, where the company’s high-profile participation is to include the first public flight presentations of its X3 hybrid demonstrator and the new EC175 helicopter.
The Eurocopter presence at Le Bourget Airport also will comprise displays of its enhanced EC145 T2 and AS350 B3e helicopters; an AS565 Panther outfitted with the Stand Alone Weapon System (SAWS); the EC135 configured for law enforcement and customs missions; and a version of the EC175 tailored for search and rescue operations.
“Eurocopter applies innovation every day in expanding the boundaries of flight, and the X3 is an excellent example of how we are preparing for the future,” said Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter’s President & CEO. “I am sure that professional visitors and the public alike will be impressed by the X3's extraordinary flight demonstrations at this year’s Paris Air Show, which are unequalled in aviation.”
The X3 demonstrator is powered by a five-blade main rotor system and two propellers on shortspan fixed wings – a combination that delivers excellent vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of a helicopter, along with aircraft-type fast cruise speeds and maneuverability.
Eurocopter anticipates a wide range of utilizations for the X3 hybrid helicopter concept, including long-distance search and rescue (SAR) missions, coast guard duties, border patrol missions, passenger transport, offshore operations and inter-city shuttle services.
Also taking part in the Paris Air Show’s daily flight program is the EC175, which is being developed by Eurocopter in a joint program with China. This multi-role helicopter is in the seven metric-ton weight category, fitting into Eurocopter’s product range between its AS365 Dauphin and the AS332/EC225 Super Puma aircraft families. The EC175 benefits from a mix of proven and advanced technologies, providing excellent performance and reliability.
The EC175 presented at Le Bourget is one of two helicopters in the flight test and development program, which foresees the rotary-wing aircraft’s certification during the second half of 2011 for deliveries beginning in 2012.
In the Paris Air Show’s static display area, Eurocopter’s exhibits of its enhanced EC145 T2, AS350 B3e and AS565 MBe represent the evolution strategy being implemented across its product line for improved operating performance, efficiency and maintainability.
The EC145 T2 incorporates new Arriel 2E engines, along with Eurocopter’s Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, upgraded main and tail rotor gear boxes, an innovative new digital avionics suite and a 4-axis autopilot.
For Eurocopter’s best-selling Ecureuil family, the improved AS350 B3e version is equipped with a more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2D turboshaft engine, along with a new-generation digital FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) and an engine data recorder for condition monitoring.
The enhanced AS565 MBe, which offers improved hot and high performance for the Panther helicopter family, will be exhibited at Le Bourget equipped with the Stand Alone Weapon System (SAWS). SAWS is developed by Eurocopter and ATE, with this flexible and adaptable weapons system incorporating mission and targeting systems, two multi-purpose weapon pylons with slaving units, and a choice of weapons loads that includes guns, unguided and guided rockets and missiles.
A special Paris Air Show event is planned by Eurocopter on June 23 to celebrate the three decades of operating excellence with its Ecureuil/AStar helicopter family. Achievements of this product line include more than 5,000 aircraft deliveries, 21 million-plus flight hours, over 1,400 operators worldwide, and flight milestones such as the highest elevation landing on Mount Everest. The event at Le Bourget Airport will provide the opportunity to celebrate new Ecureuil/AStar sales signed at the Paris Air Show, as well as Eurocopter’s first customer delivery of a serial-produced AS350 B3e.