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300 Nautical Miles

and more

Introduction

The EC225 is more powerful then ever, with the latest evolution having been presented for the first time at the 2014 Heli-Expo convention in California last year.

Article ALEXANDRE MARCHAND

 

“The main asset of the latest evolution of the EC225 is the increase in its operating range in hot weather conditions (ISA +20ºC) from 140 to 190 nautical miles when 19 passengers are being carried, and up to 300 nautical miles with 10 passengers in ISA conditions,” explained Marketing Product Manager Rémi Estime. “This increase comes in response to strong demand from offshore operators, which we have been able to meet by re-engining the aircraft with Turbomeca’s Makila 2B.” With an increased gearbox rating for OEI flight, the Makila 2B allows an increase in maximum takeoff weight from 10.45 to 11 metric tons in Category A conditions (ISA+20°C). Thanks to this increase in payload, the helicopter can optionally be fitted with a 470-liter fuel tank, lending it even more endurance. The tank can easily be installed in less than two hours and automatically is registered by the fuel management system.

MODERNIZATION OF THE AVIONICS

A second feature of this EC225 evolution is the upgraded avionics, which now enable IFR approaches to be made with GPS-based lateral and vertical guidance – all backed by the Space-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). The resulting improvement in approach safety brings with it a reduction in crew workload. Furthermore, the Euronav 7 digital mapping system, AIS (Automatic Identification System), TCAS II and upgraded transponder in the ADSB Out system provide pilots with optimal awareness of the flight environment.

Lease Corporation International (LCI), a subsidiary of the U.S. Libra Group, signed for 15 EC225e helicopters at the Heli-Expo helicopter industry show.

Illustrating the EC225e’s approach and landing ability in a standard offshore scenario, Estime said: “In performing flights in IFR conditions to offshore platforms, the EC225e will allow fully-automated GNSS (GPS) approaches to be made right up to the landing decision point, at 200 feet above the sea. The pilot can then land the aircraft intuitively and in complete safety, thanks to the support provided by the new and improved autopilot modes.”
The Makila 2B is expected to receive certification in 2015, with the EC225e then following suit. Delivery of the first aircraft is scheduled for 2016.

A CHOICE THAT MATCHES OUR TASTE FOR INNOVATION

“The EC225e was an entirely natural choice for us because we always buy the best the market has to offer. We have complete confidence in the EC225 and this new version is going to offer us increased endurance and payload, not to mention excellent operating costs. We love to see innovation and that’s essentially the reason why we are the launch customer for this aircraft.”

Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman
Lease Corporation International