Anaheim, California, 25 February 2014 – Airbus Helicopters today announced its plans to provide a new level of support for the EC175 rotorcraft in North America, with a Level D full-flight simulator located in the United States as part of a commitment to operators serving the offshore oil and gas industry.
The Level D full-flight simulator will be operational in 2016 at a location to be identified, providing pilot training at the highest standards. To recreate the most realistic flight conditions, the simulator is to utilize a motion system, computer-generated visual scenes and accurate representations of cockpit instrumentation – allowing specific mission scenarios to be “flown,” including landings on off-shore platforms.
In addition to the flight simulator, Airbus Helicopters has committed to expanding and tailoring its customer support operations for helicopter transport providers serving the growing oil and gas production and exploration sector – for which the company is the leading rotorcraft supplier. This will involve new resources for the EC175’s introduction in the Gulf of Mexico – the world’s busiest area for offshore helicopter activity – including parts and spare supplies available at the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas depot of the company’s U.S. subsidiary, Airbus Helicopters, Inc.
Also in Texas, the headquarters of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. at Grand Prairie will provide Gulf of Mexico operators with 24/7 technical support, AOG (aircraft on ground) service response, rapid spare parts distribution and other services for the EC175 and the complete Airbus Helicopters product line.
“We are making a major commitment, backed by significant investments, to provide industry-leading support and services in the U.S. for the offshore oil and gas industry,” said Marc Paganini, President and Chief Executive of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. “Our goal is to provide a mature helicopter from the EC175’s service entry, supported by a dedicated task force and tools that include validated support and services deliverables, along with established training capabilities. We will be there to support our customers when they need it, where they need it, at any time of the day.”
Deliveries of the EC175 will begin later this year, following its certification in January. As part of its investment in support and services resources, Airbus Helicopters is to install an EC175 Level D full-flight simulator at its Marignane, France headquarters location for operation beginning this summer. This enables pilot training to begin prior to the start-up of EC175 deliveries later in the year.
Designed in close consultation with operators, this medium twin-engine helicopter is suited for a wide range of missions, including offshore crew transport, search and rescue, VIP, utility and medical evacuation operations. It features Airbus Helicopters’ new Helionix® avionics suite and a digital 4-axis autopilot, providing increased safety through reduced pilot workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy.
When configured for offshore oil and gas operations, the EC175’s range enables 16 passengers to be transported up to distances of 140 naut. mi., with the range approaching 200 naut. mi. when 12 passengers are carried. Contributing to the EC175’s competitive edge is its recommended cruise speed of 150 kts., while the maximum cruise speed exceeds 165 kts. – all achieved at extremely low vibration levels. These capabilities provide unmatched cost effectiveness for the EC175 on the majority of missions off-shore oil and gas installations.
About Airbus Helicopters
Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is a division of Airbus Group, a global pioneer in aerospace and defense related services. Airbus Helicopters is the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer and employs more than 23,000 people worldwide. With 46 percent market share in civil and parapublic sectors, the company’s fleet in service includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in approximately 150 countries. Airbus Helicopters’ international presence is marked by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries, and its worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents. Airbus Helicopters’ range of civil and military helicopters is the world’s largest; its aircraft account for one third of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. The company’s chief priority is to ensure the safe operation of its aircraft for the thousands of people who fly more than 3 million hours per year.