The enhanced EC135 T3/P3 version of Airbus Helicopters’ EC135 twin-engine rotorcraft demonstrated its improved performance – especially in high-and-hot operating conditions – during a three-day demonstration event in the Italian Dolomites.
Operating from the facilities of Helicopters Italia near the city of Trento, the helicopter conducted 14 customer and operator flights last week, confirming the significant power reserves that provide increased safety margins during flight and while maneuvering. The EC135 T3/P3 benefits from an improved flight envelope, especially in hot-and-high environment as well as CAT A and single engine performance. In addition to an enlarged rate of climb at sea level, the EC135 T3/P3 also offers an increased maximum-take-off-weight of 2,980 kg.
Customers and operators who flew the aircraft during the demonstration praised the helicopter’s noticeable improvements, saying that they could “immediately feel the difference” in comparison to the previous EC135 T2e/P2e version. They noted that “the additional power enhances safety” and offers “more reserve for emergency operations”. Others appreciated the “big step forward in performance, especially at high altitudes” as well as “the smoothness of the control” and the “stable hover” which is crucial for winching operations.
Among the enhancements integrated on this latest version of Airbus Helicopter’s light, multipurpose rotorcraft family are an enlarged main rotor, a modified air intake, modernization of the FADEC flight control software, cockpit innovations and enhanced interior versatility.
The T3/P3 designations signify the availability of two upgraded engine options on the helicopters: Turbomeca’s Arrius 2B2 “Plus” for the EC135 T3; and Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PWC 206B3 for the EC135 P3. Deliveries of EC135 T3/P3s will begin later this year.
More than 1,100 EC135s are in service worldwide, with a combined total of some three million recorded flight hours. Thanks to its versatility the EC135 is used for numerous missions including Police and Emergency Medical Services, the transport of private or business travelers, as well as advanced military training, maintenance of wind energy plants and transport flights for offshore platforms.
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.
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