photo US Army
Eurocopter’s 20th anniversary will be celebrated with a high-profile participation at next week’s Heli-Expo 2012 exposition at Dallas, Texas, which is to include the unveiling of its latest evolved helicopter version and the highlighting of innovation that is key to the company’s rotary-wing industry leadership.
The latest evolution in Eurocopter’s product line will be revealed at its exhibit stand (booth #1917) on Heli-Expo’s opening day, February 12, during a ceremony led by President & CEO Lutz Bertling. Agreements with launch customers for this helicopter also will be announced.
Innovation to be exhibited by Eurocopter at Heli-Expo ranges from an obstacle detection system and hybrid helicopter concept for improved flight safety to the latest in manufacturing techniques for lighter-weight structures and enhanced eco-efficiency.
“Eurocopter has applied creativity and innovation during the past 20 years to expand and improve its helicopter family, and this will continue in the next two decades as we provide the best in performance, operating efficiency and cost effectiveness for our customers,” said Bertling. “Additionally, Eurocopter is maintaining its commitment to evolve its product line every year, and 2012 is no exception as we unveil our latest family evolution at Heli-Expo.”
In addition to the evolved helicopter unveiling, Eurocopter’s Heli-Expo exhibit stand at Dallas will include the new EC145 T2 version of its popular twin-engine EC145, which is being shown this year with the Helionix avionics suite and the Stylence cabin interior.
Helionix represents a significant advancement in avionics architecture and human-machine interface, with such features as LED (light-emitting diode) displays for high image quality and precision illustration of flight parameters, an innovative crew alerting concept with an on-demand vehicle monitoring system, a 4-axis dual-duplex automatic flight control system, and enhanced situational awareness with such integrated options as digital map, synthetic vision system and electronic flight bag. The Helionix avionics suite currently is being offered for the EC145 T2 and EC175.
A new, advanced avionics solution for Eurocopter’s light helicopters, which has been developed by the American Eurocopter subsidiary, will make its debut appearance at Heli-Expo 2012 as well.
Eurocopter is exhibiting the EC175 helicopter at Heli-Expo as the company prepares for its 2012 delivery startup of this next-generation seven metric-ton rotary-wing aircraft, which is to incorporate significantly increased range and payload capacity.
Also shown at Dallas will be the EC135 T2e evolved version of Eurocopter’s twin-engine EC135 family, and the U.S. Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter equipped with the Security and Support (S&S) Battalion mission equipment package for National Guard units.
Examples of Eurocopter’s ongoing innovation efforts exhibited at Heli-Expo include the Short Range Obstacle Detection System (SITA), which uses inexpensive automotive-type radar sensors to increase situational awareness, decrease pilot workload and improve flight safety during takeoff, landing and near-ground maneuvering. Another highlighted safety-related initiative is Eurocopter’s use of a supplemental electric motor to increase maneuverability of a single-engine helicopter during an autorotation landing, which was demonstrated in 2011 with flight tests of an AS350.
Also included on Eurocopter’s exhibit stand is a high-efficiency landing gear concept conceived for increased helicopter maximum takeoff weight, increased product reliability, as well as reduced maintenance and recurrent costs. It brings together new shock absorber technology, new surface treatment and new technology seals.
One of the advanced manufacturing techniques to be displayed at Heli-Expo is the friction stir welding solid-state joining technology for “rivet-free” assembly, allowing for more eco-efficient helicopters with lighter-weight structures and smoother surfaces. In addition, Eurocopter is showing the preform resin transfer molding (RTM) technology for environmentally-friendly rotor blade manufacturing and lower production costs.
Eurocopter’s strategy to become the support and service reference for customers is spotlighted at Heli-Expo with the display of its cost-effective EC135/EC145 avionics trainer, demonstrations of the company’s Keycopter on-line customer services portal and briefings on the web-based e-IPC illustrated parts catalogue.