Eurocopter completed the initial runs of four airframes in late 2010—the second prototype EC175, the Tiger HAD and NH Industries NH-90 tactical transport helicopter (TTH) for both France and Spain. The EC175 (shown at right) took off December 17 from the manufacturer’s plant in Marignane, France for a series of basic handling and system checks. The 45-minute flight comes about a year after the first EC175 prototype took to the skies. Eurocopter and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) are developing the EC175. The initial pre-serial French Tiger HAD (fire support and destruction) carried out its maiden flight the same day in Marignane. Eurocopter will test the French Tiger HAD along with the Spanish Tiger HAD over the next several months.
The manufacturer has also completed initial flights for the French and Spanish (shown at right) versions of the NH90 TTH. The French variant is being transferred to the Official French Flight Test Center in Istres, following a one-hour flight at Marignane. Eurocopter Espana assisted with the first flight of the Spanish NH90 TTH, which features GE CT7-8F5 engines. That airframe is being moved to Eurocopter’s facility in Albacete in preparation for flight tests leading up to full qualification from the Spanish Ministry of Defense. (From February 2011 Rotorcraft Report)