Eurocopter Improves EC175 Medium Twin’s Performance
Eurocopter unveiled improved performance numbers for its EC175 medium twin, a 15,000-pound-class helicopter aimed at the offshore oil and gas market. With 16 passengers, the radius of action has been increased from 90 nm to 135 nm. Meanwhile, the Marignane, France-based manufacturer is developing an 18-passenger configuration, which can be made possible thanks to the helicopter’s 433-cu-ft cabin. The move was likely prompted by the launch last June of the AgustaWestland AW189, which is in the 16- to 18-seat category. The AW189 has a radius of action of 140 nm with 16 passengers and offers a 385-cu-ft cabin. Asked how such improvements have been made possible on the EC175, Eurocopter said only that it worked on the helicopter’s “dynamic components” and did not change the fuel capacity. The company expects certification for the offshore configuration by the end of the year. Basic certification was expected late last year. The EC175 program is a 50-50 joint effort with China’s Avicopter.