Certification ‘Imminent’ for EC130 Upgrade
Eurocopter is expecting EASA certification of the EC130T2 helicopter, an upgraded version of the EC130B4 large-cabin single, “within weeks.” The flight-test program has been completed and Eurocopter has delivered all the required documents to the authorities, according to Janick Blanc, the company’s vice president for light helicopter programs.
Eurocopter engineers are now answering questions from their EASA counterparts. There’s a possibility that the EC130T2 could be certified by the Farnborough International airshow, which opens on July 9. “That’s a nice challenge,” Blanc told AIN. FAA certification should follow “quickly,” in time for the planned first delivery by the end of the year to U.S.-based launch customer Maverick Helicopters.
Introduced at Heli-Expo 2012 in February, the EC130T2 features a more powerful engine, enabling a 3,300-pound sling load. Other improvements include more robust doors and air conditioning, and an executive “Stylence” cabin interior will be offered in the coming months. The price increase over the B4 is said to be limited to 4 percent.
An EC130T2 demonstration campaign, aimed at utility operators, is planned for September in the Alps.