MARIGNANE, France --- The EC 225, the most developed version of the Super Puma family of medium-sized twins (11-ton class) has just received its IFR Airworthiness Certificate in compliance with the latest version of the JAR 29 standard from the new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
This certification is initially applied to a flight envelope with a maximum altitude of 20,000 feet (6,000 m) and an operating envelope including temperatures between – 15C° and + 40C°. This envelope, which is already sufficient for aircraft operational use, will be extended to –30C° and + 50C, and for flight in icing conditions by mid-2005.
The aircraft performed its maiden flight in November 2000 and has already flown passenger transport missions, in particular Offshore and VIP, and public service missions like Search and Rescue (SAR).
This commercial aircraft has a takeoff weight of 11,000 kg; and a takeoff weight of 11,200 kg with sling capacity.
This new version, with its greatly improved performances, has already been ordered in a military livery by the French Air Force for use as a future combat SAR helicopter.
The principal characteristics of the EC 225 are its new main rotor system, reinforced main gear box (MGB), new engines, and a new integrated Flight Display System (FDS).
The addition of this proven new technology offers improved performances (speed, maneuverability), comfort (vibration, noise), and flight safety, and has already stirred the enthusiasm of all the crews who have flown this helicopter.
The EC 225 uses the Spheriflex main rotor head, whose performances have already been proven on the SUPER PUMA L2 and EC 155. The Spheriflex technology, which is also used on the tail rotor head, further offers reduced operating and maintenance costs.
The main rotor is equipped with five blades designed with a very modern profile. The blades have a composite spar with parabolic blade tips with a downward dihedral profile. This five-blade configuration also gives the aircraft a particularly low vibration level. The main rotor diameter is 16.2 meters.
The rotors and tail unit may be equipped with an icing/anti-icing system for flight in extreme icing conditions.
The Main Gear Box of the EC 225 is reinforced to accommodate the more powerful engines and the aircraft's increased maximum weight. The casing and gears are made using ultra modern manufacturing materials and processes, which significantly improve the reliability of components. The lubricating system includes an emergency oil spraying sub-system, which goes much further than the JAR 29 requirements: 50 minutes operation demonstrated, for a requirement of 30 minutes.
The EC 225 has two Turbomeca Makila 2A turboshaft engines. This new engine employs a new airflow concept and materials; and has an emergency rating of 1800 kW (2448 hp-2413shp), i.e. 14% more than its previous version.
Each engine is an independent assembly comprising all the systems, equipment and accessories required for its operation. The engine modularity makes servicing and maintenance operations much easier.
A dual channel, duplex Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) controls the engines and offers a very high level of reliability. The power turbine is designed with a 'blade shedding' system ensuring engine integrity in case of overspeed.
The EC 225 has an Advanced Helicopter Cockpit and Avionics System, which is designed to reduce pilot and crew workload with a 4-axis digital autopilot, displaying flight and sub-systems management information. This integration makes for more successful missions, by allowing the pilot and copilot to concentrate more on events outside the aircraft.
The Flight Display System (FDS) uses active-matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCD) with four 6" x 8" multi-function screens, two 4“ x 5“ screens measuring aircraft parameters, and a 3’’ screen for the ISIS independent backup system.
In particular, the EC 225 is capable of:
-- Transporting 19 passengers more than 400 Nm with the fuel supplies imposed by air traffic control authorities;
--Rescuing 21 people in the water, in very safe conditions, on the way to an offshore platform;
--Rescuing 15 people in the water, 200 Nm from the coast, in very safe conditions.
20 aircraft from the EC 225 / EC 725 family have already been ordered and the total number of orders for the Super Puma / Cougar - EC 225 / EC family has risen to 682 aircraft.
Eurocopter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2003 EADS, generated revenues of 30.1 billion euros and employed a workforce of about 109,000. The EADS Group includes the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the world’s largest helicopter supplier Eurocopter and the joint venture MBDA, the second-largest missile producer in the global market. EADS is the major partner in the Eurofighter consortium, is the prime contractor for the Ariane launcher, develops the A400M military transport aircraft and is the largest industrial partner for the European satellite navigation system Galileo.