2-Dec-2014 Source: Airbus
The delivery of the first EC175 is less than two weeks away, with Belgian operator Noordzee Helicopters Vlaanderen (NHV) to become the first customer to receive the next-generation medium-sized helicopter on December 11.
Committed to delivering a mature helicopter, Airbus Helicopters has already put in place a broad range of support and services for the EC175 to ensure the highest levels of safety and availability – and the lowest operating costs – for operators from day one.
At the heart of this offering are new approaches to maintenance, connected services and training, among others.
The EC175 is the first helicopter by Airbus Helicopters to have been built using the Maintenance Steering Group-3 (MSG-3) development methodology for scheduled aircraft maintenance.
Initially developed for fixed-wing aircraft, the MSG-3 methodology is designed to optimize maintenance throughout the lifecycle of the aircraft. Benefits of the MSG-3 methodology include improving operational capability, maximizing the cost effectiveness of maintenance, enhancing dispatch availability and minimizing helicopter downtime – all while maintaining the highest levels of safety.
This optimized scheduled maintenance planning for the EC175, established through MSG-3, will be continuously improved in partnership with EC175 customers via a proactive Living Maintenance Review Board process.
Connected Services and Technical Publications
Airbus Helicopters’ Keycopter customer portal now offers EC175 operators quick online access to spares, ordering and tracking services. In addition, web-based access to interactive electronic technical publications is now available and allows customers to view complex maintenance procedures in 3D.
Four-Step Training Program
The four-step pilot training program began last summer and has today welcomed 20 pilots for coursework comprised of theoretical training, flight navigation procedure training (FNPT), Level D full flight simulation and real flight at the Airbus Helicopters Training Services facility in Marignane, France.
(Check back soon to watch the video of NHV chief pilot Marc Simillion documenting his training journey).
The EC175 Level D full-flight simulator features an Indra-built system conceived in parallel with the aircraft’s development. This means the simulator data package ensures that the simulator’s flight model and aircraft systems are fully identical to the real aircraft. This motion-based full-flight simulator incorporates a state-of-the-art visual projection system to recreate the most realistic flight conditions for immersive training.
At the same time, 30 technicians have received EC175 maintenance type-rating training starting with Russian operator UTair, whose team of six technicians was certified at the end of July.
Certified in January by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the EC175 meets the latest airworthiness standards, covering both the rotorcraft and its new Helionix® avionics suite – which provides increased safety through reduced pilot workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy. As a high-capacity medium rotorcraft, the EC175 accommodates 16 passengers in comfort, offering the most cabin volume per person.
The helicopter was developed to meet evolving oil and gas industry mission needs, offering outstanding performance and unmatched cost efficiency – enabling a full payload to be carried to 90 percent of the North Sea’s offshore installations.