The EC175 set off last week by Antonov for a six-week campaign in the United States to test its flight performance in high and hot environments. Successful completion of the tests will enable Airbus Helicopters to expand the helicopter’s flight envelope in extremely high temperatures and at high altitudes.
“The heights and temperatures we will test are higher than those at which the helicopter is currently certified. Expanding the flight envelope will be a big advantage for our customers who perform missions in extremely demanding desert environments,” said Michel Oswald, flight test engineer at Airbus Helicopters.
Las Vegas, Nevada, whose soaring temperatures make it the second hottest city in the United States according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Climatic Data Center, will host the hot tests.
The thermal analyses aim to confirm that the EC175’s components function properly at 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) and do not exceed acceptable limits. The most disadvantageous flight cases are considered, such as long periods of hovering at maximum takeoff weight, or flying when the helicopter’s equipment has reached the outside temperature, a process known as “soakback”.
The altitude tests will take place in Leadville, Colorado. At an elevation of more than 3,000 meters (9,927 feet), the Leadville Lake County Airport is the highest airport in North America and the third highest in the world.
The altitude tests will increase the flight domain for flights performed at very high altitudes and hot temperatures. The results will help to establish the proper helicopter procedures at takeoff and landing under these conditions.
The tests will be performed by the same helicopter that performed cold tests in Canada last January.
The double campaign is being led by a team of 15 experts, including pilots, flight engineers, mechanics, technicians and analysts, who will study the recorded data.
The EC175 left Marignane by Antonov on June 19 and will return on August 1.
- Airbus receives EASA Certification for Rig’N Fly for the H175
- NHV H175 fleet reaches 8,500 flights in 3 years
- Airbus and NHV celebrate three years flying H175s
- EASA certification for the Rig’N Fly
- Royal Thai Police becomes first H175 operator in Asia Pacific
- Milestone and Babcock celebrate lease fleet of 50
- CHC commences H175 revenue operations
- CHC signs HCare contract with Airbus for H175
- Heli Holland expand offshore fleet with two H155s and an H175
- Milestone helps CHC launch SuperMedium program
- CHC takes delivery of first H175 aircraft
- CHC to add AW189 and H175 to fleet
- Waypoint Leasing to Bolster Fleet with 16 New Airbus Helicopters
- EASA raises H175 gross weight to 7.8 tonnes
- Milestone places €200 million firm order with Airbus Helicopters for H135, H145 and H175
- NHV’s H175 fleet reaches 10,000 flight hours
- NHV awarded with offshore contract by Seaway Heavy Lifting
- New era on North Sea as oil company buys two H175s
- NHV wins UK-based H175 contract with Ithaca Energy
- Airbus launches H175 flight-test campaign