Eurocopter is upgrading most of its product range, with the goal of providing improved performance and reduced costs. The manufacturer is reporting progress on the developments of the AS350B3e Ecureuil (AStar), EC135T2e/P2e, EC145T2, AS365N3e and Super Puma L1e/C1e. All were announced at Heli-Expo 2011 in February.
Eurocopter EC 135
Under a contract signed by Eurocopter Deutschland and Mid-Continent, Eurocopter EC135 and EC145T2 models will be equipped with Mid-Continent Instruments True Blue Power MD835 emergency power supply systems.
Launched at a time when luxury helicopters were a promising market segment, the EC135 “L’Hélicoptère par Hermés” has failed so far to fulfill its creators’ commercial hopes for sales of “several dozen” aircraft.
Eurocopter this week delivered the 1,000th Dauphin medium twin, with the milestone copy going to India-based Pawan Hans Helicopters. The aircraft, an AS365N3, was handed over in an offshore configuration. Pawan Hans is the world’s largest civil operator of the model, with a fleet of 35 Dauphins.
Feedback from exhibitors at this year’s Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo show–the 63rd annual event–was notably positive, a clear indication that the record attendee and exhibitor numbers signal a strong performance by the rotorcraft industry during the past year. Heli-Expo 2011 attendance reached more than 20,000, according to HAI, and exhibitors totaled 625, up from 15,243 attendees and 596 exhibitors last year.
Responding to demand from the aeromedical industry, Jet Support Services (JSSI) is adding Eurocopter EC135/145 services to its lineup. “We did a market-share analysis last June and found a total of 633 Eurocopter EC135s and 377 EC145s in service worldwide,” Kandi Spangler, JSSI v-p of marketing, told AIN.
Air Medical Resource Group ordered seven Eurocopter AS350B3e rotorcraft at Heli-Expo, becoming the launch customer for the new model AStar introduced at this year’s convention. A more powerful version of the AS350B3, it’s powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 2D turboshaft engine and new generation Fadec. Certification is planned for this summer and deliveries are scheduled to begin by year’s end.
To signify their continuing evolution, Eurocopter is applying an “e” suffix to the latest variants of its helicopters. One of these evolved products, the AS350B3e, is at Heli-Expo 2011 on the Eurocopter display and shown here in an air-to-air factory publicity photo.
With dry ice, bright lights, loud music, CEO Lutz Bertling in the cockpit and four glamorous passengers in helmets and flight suits, Eurocopter rolled out its newest helicopter here at Heli-Expo shortly after the convention opened yesterday morning. The EC145T2 introduces a fenestron, new engines, a new main gearbox and what Bertling described as “25 percent more mission performance” than its predecessor.