Airbus Helicopters' EC175 makes its North Sea debut and announces extra payload
A week-long demonstration tour brings the rotorcraft to England, Scotland and Norway
In conjunction with the new rotorcraft's tour of the North Sea, Airbus Helicopters will announce an increase to the EC175's maximum take-off weight, up to 7,800 kg, offering significant additional payload of 300 kg or an additional 40NM radius of action. The extended MTOW provides additional operational flexibility - particularly in highly demanding oil and gas heli-lift operations, and for missions to oil rigs that are located increasingly further off-shore. Certification of the extended maximum take-off weight is planned before the end of 2016, following a flight test campaign next year.
"Seeing is believing, and this latest EC175 demonstration tour will enable North Sea oil and gas operators, oil companies and industry workers' unions to experience and appreciate the performance, range and comfort of this new-generation helicopter," said Dominique Maudet, Airbus Helicopters' Executive Vice President - Global Business and Service.
The EC175's demonstration tour brings it to Norwich, England on May 19th; Aberdeen, Scotland during May 20th - 22nd, and Stavanger, Norway, on May 23rd.
Certified in January by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Airbus Helicopters' EC175 meets the latest airworthiness standards, covering both the rotorcraft and its new Helionix® avionics suite - which provides increased safety through reduced pilot workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy.
The helicopter was developed to meet evolving oil and gas industry mission needs, offering outstanding performance and unmatched cost efficiency - enabling a full payload to be carried to 90 percent of the North Sea's offshore installations. The Rig 'N Fly GPS-navigation-assisted software, after certification on EC225e, will be incorporated in the EC175's avionics suite to make approaches to, and takeoffs from, platform-based helipads safer and simpler.
As a high-capacity medium-sized rotorcraft, the EC175 accommodates 16 passengers in comfort, offering the most cabin volume per person. The in-flight environment is enhanced by very low vibration levels and a smooth ride - even at high speed. Powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada's latest PT6 engine - the PT6C67E version developed specifically for this helicopter - the EC175 retains a competitive edge with its recommended cruise speed of 150 kts., while the maximum cruise speed exceeds 165 kts.
Airbus Helicopters will begin EC175 deliveries later this year to the first customers, backed by the company's commitment to provide a mature helicopter with a dedicated task force and tools that include validated support and services deliverables, as well as established training capabilities.
As part of its investment in support and services resources, Airbus Helicopters has installed an EC175 Level D full flight simulator at its Marignane, France headquarters for operation beginning this summer, allowing pilot training to begin prior to the start-up of EC175 deliveries.
Airbus Helicopters operates a facility in Aberdeen, Scotland offering 930 square meters of storage volume for spares, along with local maintenance, repair and overhaul capability. This support capacity reduces turnaround times and increases operational productivity for customers in the North Sea.
Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is a division of Airbus Group, a global pioneer in aerospace and defense related services. Airbus Helicopters is the world's No. 1 helicopter manufacturer and employs more than 23,000 people worldwide. With 46 percent market share in civil and parapublic sectors, the company's fleet in service includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in approximately 150 countries. Airbus Helicopters' international presence is marked by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries, and its worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents. Airbus Helicopters' range of civil and military helicopters is the world's largest; its aircraft account for one third of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. The company's chief priority is to ensure the safe operation of its aircraft for the thousands of people who fly more than 3 million hours per year.