EASA certifies Airbus Helicopters' EC225 gear shaft redesign

Marignane, France, (PresseBox) - The redesigned vertical bevel gear shaft for Airbus Helicopters' EC225 has been certified, enabling its production and installation on all rotorcraft of this type in operation globally, as well as those being produced.

Certification was granted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and is to be followed by validation from other international airworthiness authorities.

Manufacturing of the redesigned gear shaft is underway, allowing worldwide implementation on concerned aircraft in service and in production, starting in the second semester of 2014.

"Airbus Helicopters has put a very high priority on developing this new shaft for the EC225. EASA's certification is a major milestone towards getting our customers flying with the final solution," said Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus Helicopters' Executive Vice President - Engineering.

The new design eliminates all three factors that, in combination, had caused two unexpected vertical shaft ruptures. It provides corrosion resistance, compensates for residual stress and eliminates stress hot spots.

Following two EC225 controlled ditchings in the North Sea in 2012 and the suspension of part of the aircraft's fleet, precautionary and preventive measures were immediately developed by Airbus Helicopters and successfully implemented by operators, leading to a full return to service.

As the latest evolution of Airbus Helicopters' Super Puma family, more than 200 EC225/725s have been delivered to 35 operators, accumulating more than 350,000 flight hours. Tailored for the most demanding operators, the workhorse EC225 is an 11-ton helicopter integrating all of the latest technological innovations.

For additional information, visit the EC225 Knowledge Center: http://www.EC225news.com

About Airbus Helicopters

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.

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