Eurocopter is anticipating a ramp-up in the production of the EC225 and the AS350 Ecureuil by 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, at its factory in Marignane, France. For “better reactivity,” it has signed an agreement with Segula Technologies to take over the latter’s “structure assembly” activity in the neighboring city of Aix-en-Provence.
Eurocopter expects to ramp up production of the EC225 medium twin and AS350 Ecureuil light single by 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, at its Marignane, France factory. For “better reactivity,” it has signed an agreement with Segula Technologies to take over the latter’s “structure assembly” activity in the neighboring city of Aix-en-Provence.
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.
Eurocopter has inaugurated a new logistics center at its Marignane, France factory. The helicopter OEM already moves more than 300,000 parts per year among assembly lines, customers and industrial partners. The new center, which has an inventory of more than 1.5 million parts, will help accelerate shipments. Daher was a major partner in the project.
Eurocopter is hiring 300 research and development engineers, with at least four years of experience, for its new programs. There are more than 100 job titles available in service bulletin coordination, acoustic engineering and production planning, among others, at the company’s locations in Marignane, France, and Donauwörth, Germany.
Eurocopter has opened a new global logistics facility in Les Florides industrial park near its production plant in Marignane in the south of France. It joins a logistics distribution system that includes facilities in Donauwörth, Germany; Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport, France; and Hong Kong as well as customer service centers in both Hong Kong and Dallas.
Eurocopter’s compound helicopter demonstrator, the X3, recently reached 232 ktas, which is above the stated goal of 220 knots. This speed was maintained “for several minutes” in “stable, level flight.” The aircraft had taken off from Istres flight test center in southeast France, near the manufacturer’s Marignane headquarters.
Eurocopter confirmed that it plans to gain type certification for the EC175 medium twin this year while clarifying that it expects complementary certification for the offshore-oil configuration by the middle of next year. This configuration is that of the second prototype, which has been flying since December.
Last month in Marignane, France, Eurocopter quietly flew the first prototype of a helicopter that is to replace the EC130 light single and possibly the entire Ecureuil family, Jean-Michel Billig, the companyπs executive vice president for research and development, told AIN yesterday. The program is codenamed X2, although it has no relationship with Sikorskyπs technology demonstrator of the same name. Certification is planned for 2013.
Eurocopter ended 2010 with a flurry of progress announcements, some of which related to previously delayed military programs in Europe. The first NH-90s in the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) configuration for France and Spain both made their maiden flights at Marignane on December 17. The French machine, one of 34 TTHs to be handed over to the French army late this year, is now undergoing flight tests at Istres.
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