Eurocopter’s new EC175 has set two time-to-climb records during performance testing as the twin-turbine engine helicopter’s flight manual is submitted to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as part of the certification process.
Eurocopter is targeting EASA certification for early 2014 and anticipates deliveries to the first three customers the same year. “The EC175 is the best-performing, most cost-effective and easiest to fly helicopter in its category,” claims Laurent Vautherin, Eurocopter head of program.
The two records, which have been ratified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, are a time to climb to an altitude of 6,000m (19,680ft) of 6 minutes, 54 seconds and a time to climb to 3,000m (9,840ft) of 3 minutes 10 seconds.
The EC175 is designed for a full range of missions, including airlift duties for oil and gas operators, search and rescue, emergency medical services, public services, VIP and executive transport. Normal cruise speed is 150kt: maximum cruise speed is in excess of 165kt. Under ISA+20°C conditions, the maximum hover out of ground effect (HOGE) limit at maximum 7.5 tonne takeoff weight is 4,500 ft. With 16 passengers, the oil and gas industry configured EC175 has a radius of operation of 140nm, increasing to 200 when 12 passengers are carried.