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PICTURE: First flight of new Airbus Helicopters EC645 T2

Airbus Helicopters has performed the maiden flight of the EC645 T2 military utility rotorcraft at its facility in Donauwörth, Germany, in front of representatives of the nation’s armed forces.

Berlin has an existing order for 15 of the 3.7t helicopters to be used by its air force for commando operations. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in 2015.

“This first flight is a milestone in the EC645 T2 programme and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate this event with our customer,” the airframer says.

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Airbus Helicopters

The type is the military variant of the civil EC145 T2, which gained certification earlier this year and was delivered to its launch customer in late July.

Upgrades over the previous model include a reshaped, lightweight tail boom, a new Helionix avionics suite, upgraded Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines and an enclosed tail rotor.

The Royal Thai Navy is the only other customer for the EC645 T2, with a commitment placed in October for five examples.

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