Eurocopter chief Lutz Bertling last year at the Heli-Expo show mentioned some enticing details about the company's EC155 Dauphin replacement for later this decade, dubbed the X4, the least of which being that it would not have a cockpit!
On Sunday at the 2012 Heli-Expo show in Dallas, Bertling gave up just a little bit more, including a couple of artist's conceptions.
Bertling says the total X4 will arrive in two waves, the first in 2017 when the helicopter will go to market with the advanced airframe, engines and dynamic chain portions, and in 2020 when the "game-changing" cockpit arrives that will be a "major breakthrough" in safety.
"The level of innovation is so huge that we need stepped approach," says Bertling, adding that Thales and Sagem are partners on the design. Along with FBW side-stick controllers, the company envisions a flight deck with small interactive central console, 3d audio information and helmet-mounted displays with large fields of view for the pilot.