Eurocopter’s new EC175 medium-twin helicopter is appearing in the daily flying display here at the Farnborough International Airshow for the first time. Mainly aimed at the offshore oil market, the helicopter is scheduled to receive certification by the end of this year. Two prototypes have flown since the beginning of the test program in 2009.
Eurocopter AS 532
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) flew the prototype of its Surion utility helicopter for the first time on March 10. Flown by two pilots and with a test engineer aboard, the Surion took off for a 30-minute maiden flight at Sacheon air base, near Korea’s south coast, and performed hovering and hover turns.
Eurocopter now hopes to obtain certification for its EC 225 by early next year instead of in the third quarter of this year, as previously stated. According to the Franco-German helicopter manufacturer, the civil EC 225 is planned to be certified before qualification of its military sister, the EC 725, both of which are upgraded variants of the AS 332L2 Super Puma.
Eurocopter now targets late next year as the new certification date for the EC 225. A derivative of the Super Puma, the new medium twin helicopter was originally set to be certified late this year. Major cockpit and autopilot design changes after the program started have lengthened the program by six months.
Bristow Helicopters has ordered two Eurocopter EC 225s, with a scheduled service entry of spring next year. The order for this latest addition to the Super Puma family is valued at approximately E32 million ($40.3 million), and Bristow has options on an additional two aircraft.
The cabin space of the Eurocopter Super Puma can be retained even when two .5-inch caliber machine guns have been installed by ST Aerospace. This is evident from the display in the company’s pavilion at the entrance to Hall A where a Eurocopter Super Puma displays not only a single gun installation, but also a forward-looking infrared pod that can be semi retracted when the helicopter is on the ground.