Eurocopter is offering on the EC155 Dauphin the autopilot search-and-rescue (SAR) mode that until now could be found only on the larger EC225 Super Puma. Certified earlier this year on the EC155, the SAR mode gives better stability and precision, particularly in environments where the former SAR mode was not operational.
Eurocopter has improved its Dauphin to offer more modern avionics and enhanced passenger comfort. Certification of the new model, dubbed the N3+, is pegged for late this year.
Visually on the outside, the medium twin will differ from the previous models, as the installation of new radar equipment has prompted a redesign of the nose, which will now resemble that of the EC155.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will step up plans this year to expand its operations with the delivery of three new helicopters. At December’s LIMA airshow in Langkawi, First Admiral Zammani Mohd Amin, the agency’s director of Air Wing operations, told AIN that it will continue to grow.
Safran’s helicopter subsidiary Turbomeca could be back in the contest to provide the powerplant for the Z15 helicopter following China’s recent decision to re-evaluate the engine. Late last year, executives with Eurocopter’s EC 175 program indicated that discussions are under way for the possible launch of a new engine for the Chinese version of the medium twin.
Eurocopter has disclosed some performance numbers for the in-development EC 175 medium twin. The radius of action offshore is 270 nm at ISA+20 degrees C and a speed of about 135 knots. The 16-passenger aircraft is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67E turboshafts. The EC 175/Z15, a 50-50 Euro-Chinese effort, is expected to fly by year-end.
India’s Pawan Hans Helicopters (PHHL), a government enterprise that claims to be the largest helicopter operator in the country’s civil and parapublic market, signed a $9.8 million contract for three AS 350B3 Ecureuils in June.
Chairman and managing director R. K. Tyagi told AIN the company expects delivery of the helicopters around August or September next year.
Eurocopter SA 365N-1D Dauphin, District Heights, Md., Sept. 27, 2008–The Maryland State Police medevac helicopter crashed in a park in District Heights, killing the commercial pilot, a paramedic, a field provider and one of the two patients aboard. The heli- copter had picked up the two auto accident victims and was flying them to a hospital.
Unlimited (ASU) has completed a cockpit modification for night-vision-goggle compatibility in a Eurocopter AS 365N3 Dauphin, the first helicopter to get such equipment in the Gyeon Buk fire aviation department in South Korea. Following the installation of ITT goggles, the Boise, Idaho-based company trained the department’s aircrews. The aircraft will be used for night search-and-rescue missions.
Eurocopter has received orders for 10 EC 155 Dauphins and five AS 350B3 Ecureuils from two Chinese companies. Citic Offshore Helicopter will operate the EC 155s, the deliveries of which will start next year. Meanwhile, the AS 350B3s will be delivered over the next two years to Allyway and leased to various Chinese operators. This is the first order for the B3 variant in China.