The first Eurocopter EC635 for the Swiss Air Force made a successful maiden flight May 23 at Eurocopter’s Donauwörth, Germany facility.
The air force has ordered 18 EC635s for use in transport and training missions. In addition, the Swiss Federal Air Transport Services ordered two EC135s. The contract was signed in April 2006 and Eurocopter says it is on schedule. Deliveries are scheduled to take place between March 2008 and the end of 2009.
The maiden flight was under the command of Eurocopter test pilot René Nater and lasted 35 min. Eurocopter said all of the aircraft’s systems operated to full satisfaction. Following the first flight, the EC635 was returned to the production facility for qualification of customer-specific equipment and further tests.
The first four machines will be delivered from Donauwörth; the remaining 16 are to be assembled and delivered by RUAG Aerospace in Alpnach, Switzerland. RUAG will also be responsible for the industry-level maintenance of the Swiss EC635s and EC135s throughout their service life.
The EC635 is the military version of the EC135 and is designed for military and paramilitary as well as public security missions. It is also employed in search and rescue, troop transport, reconnaissance and observation missions.