Eurocopter EC175 sets two climb records

Eurocopter’s EC175 helicopter has managed to secure two new world records – the fastest climb to 3000 feet (three minutes and 10 seconds) and the fastest climb to 6000 feet (six minutes and 54 seconds). The just-ratified records were set on 6 February this year at Istres Airforce Base in France with experimental flight test pilot Alain Di-Bianca in the pilot’s seat.

Eurocopter notes that the EC175 is targeting EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification in early 2014 and is currently submitting the rotorcraft’s flight manual to the agency as part of the certification process.

Its strong performance in February gives Eurocopter high hopes for the future of the new machine. “The EC175 confirmed it is the best-performing, most cost-effective and easiest to fly helicopter in its category,” says Laurent Vautherin, head of the EC175 program.

The EC175 is a medium-sized twin-engine helicopter designed for a full range of missions, including oil and gas airlifts, search and rescue, emergency medical services, public services, VIP and executive transport.

Among other features, it boasts hover out of ground effect (HOGE) at maximum 7.5-tonne take-off weight at 4500 feet at ISA+20°C conditions; one engine inoperative (OEI) hover performance, which ensures safety during hosting for search and rescue missions; and extensive power reserve and heli-deck performance (PC1) at maximum take-off weight in ISA+20°C conditions. It has a recommended cruise speed of 150 knots and a maximum cruise speed exceeding 165 knots.

The EC175’s production schedule is currently being ramped up, with the 15th model now on the final assembly line.

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