Eurocopter celebrates maiden flight of its new EC175
The EC175, the latest member of the Eurocopter range, today performed its official maiden flight in the skies above Marignane. The real first fight was on December 4.
At the controls were Alain Di Bianca, Eurocopter Experimental Test Pilot, as well as Michel Oswald and Patrick Bremont, Flight Test Engineers. Officials, industrial partners, launch customers and Eurocopter employees were all on hand for the event.
This newest addition to the Eurocopter family in the 7-metric-ton class has been developed and manufactured in cooperation with the China Aeronautics Industries Group Corp. (AVIC), a longstanding Eurocopter partner.
The new generation EC175 has a multirole design and can carry out a wide scope of civil missions. It slots perfectly into the Eurocopter range between the AS365 Dauphin (4/5 metric tons) and the AS332/EC225 Super Puma (9/11 metric tons) families. It benefits from a mix of proven and advanced technologies, making it a very performing and reliable helicopter. Depending on its configuration, it can hold up to 16 passengers.
A total of 114 EC175s have already been ordered by 14 different customers. Certification of the EC175 by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is slated for 2011, and the first deliveries are scheduled to follow in 2012. Eurocopter expects to sell 800 EC175s over the next twenty years, creating nearly 2000 new direct and indirect jobs.
The development and industrialization work has been equally split between Eurocopter and AVIC according to the specialties of each company. Two different helicopters will result from the common platform: The EC175 manufactured, sold and maintained by Eurocopter in Marignane and the Z15, manufactured, sold and maintained by the AVIC Group.