Marignane, France-based Eurocopter (Booth C2922) will have some of its newest aircraft models on display in the exhibit hall of Heli-Expo 2013 in Las Vegas. One will be the EC175, the company’s tall, medium twin-engine platform built to satisfy the offshore helicopter market.
Unlike prior years, Eurocopter will not have a mock-up of the EC175 on display. Instead, it will have an actual flying prototype on hand, which was brought to the U.S. from its home base in France aboard a massive Antonov transport airplane.
EC175 arriving at American Eurocopter HQ in Grand Prairie, Texas on Feb. 22. Photo courtesy of Eurocopter
Since the first flight of prototype No. 1 in December of 2012, the two testbeds have accumulated more than 500 hours of accident-free evaluation flight time. And with most of the testing having been achieved—only flight endurance tests are said to remain—the company made the decision to use Heli-Expo as one of the first stops on a world-wide tour. (Other stops in North America have already included New Iberia, La. and Houston, Texas.)
The mock-up of the EC175 was unveiled amid flashing lights and rising smoke at Heli-Expo 2008 in Dallas, but was not much more than a shell. This time, the aircraft will have a pair of Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67Es, which will deliver cruise speeds of 150 knots, and maximum speeds that exceed 165 knots.
The avionics package installed in the EC175 extends the EC225’s in-flight envelope protection, pilot assistance and situational awareness, and goes on to include the most innovative alerting and self-monitoring system. “Helionix,” the newest avionics family being certified, meets the latest international avionics standards, and makes the EC175 the second aircraft to apply them. (The double-decker Airbus 380 was the first.)
There are 29 EC175s currently on order by operators who hope to see the first regular production models roll off the assembly line later this year. Each aircraft at the company's booth, plus others that will be on display, have a wide variety of features that Eurocopter invites visitors to Heli-Expo to explore in booth C2922.
Related: Airframe News