The Eurocopter EC175 medium twin-engined helicopter will offer a 30% increase in performance over its original baseline target when it enters service later this year, the European airframer said.
The announcement coincides with the launch by Eurocopter of an 18-passenger version of the 1,325kW (1,775shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67E-powered aircraft.
"The EC175 will incorporate significantly increased range and payload capacity and will be the first seven metric ton-category helicopter delivered with such capabilities," it said.
The Eurocopter EC175 will offer a 30% increase in performance over its original baseline target when it enters service later this year
"The payload/radius-of-action capacity with 16 passengers at 135nm [250km] when configured for offshore oil and gas missions, out-performs any medium-lift helicopter on the market in terms of competitiveness," Eurocopter added.
This represents a 30% performance increase compared with the initial performance baseline. Eurocopter said the EC175 can transport 12 passengers to a radius of action of 190nm, and 100nm with 18 passengers.
First deliveries of the EC175 are earmarked for the fourth quarter "following certification in the offshore mission configuration with the enhanced performance", said Eurocopter.
Ongoing testing continues to validate the EC175's rugged design, including cold and hot weather trials, bird-strike tests, and gearbox operation for 30 minutes after loss of oil.
Two EC175 prototypes have logged more than 270 flight hours to date and industrial activity is continuing - with the first two serial aircraft being assembled at Eurocopter's Marignane facility in France.