Saturday, December 18, 2010

Eurocopter completes four first flights in one day

Eurocopter successfully completed four first flights on 17 December, including the first sortie of the second prototype EC175 heavy twin civil helicopter being built in a joint venture with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
The other three first flights involved military helicopters - a fire support and destruction (HAD) Tiger for France; an NH90 tactical transport helicopter (TTH) also for France's armed forces and an NH90 TTH for the Spanish armed forces.
The second EC175, a 7t multi-role helicopter configured for the oil and gas industry, flew for 45 minutes on its maiden sortie, validating basic handling qualities and system functionality, says Eurocopter. The companies plan to certify the Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67E-powered 16-passenger twin in late 2012.
The Tiger HAD support and attack helicopter for France will next pair with a Spanish Tiger HAD for joint testing and development flights. Eurocopter says it has orders for 64 of the 6.6t HADs - 40 by France and 24 by Spain, six of which are retrofits of previously delivered versions of the Tiger.
Both NH90 TTH first flights lasted for one hour, with dynamic systems checks, handling qualities evaluations and initial avionics checks of the 11t twin.


 Second Eurocopter EC175 takes flight


 French armed forces Tiger HAD first flight


 NH90 for Spanish Armed Forces


 French NH90 first flight

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