Wednesday, June 20, 2001, Le Bourget, France : CHC Helicopter Corporation ("CHC") (TSE: FLY.A and FLY.B; NASDAQ: FLYA) is pleased to announce the signing of a contract for the acquisition of the first civilian EC 225 helicopter (delivery mid-2003) and a new AS 332 L2 Super Puma (delivery Q4 2002).
CHC President Sylvain Allard and Eurocopter Group President Jean-Francois Bigay signed the contract at the Paris Air Show today, making CHC the launch customer for the EC 225, the newest addition to the Super Puma family, and one of the most sophisticated heavy helicopters in the world.
With the EC 225, CHC will operate a helicopter with highly increased performance capabilities, thanks to a new main rotor with five blades, a reinforced main gear box, new engines and a new integrated piloting and display system. The EC 225 is capable of transporting 19 passengers more than 400 nautical miles, with the fuel reserves required by relevant aviation authorities. In a Search and Rescue (SAR) role, the EC 225 can rescue 21 personnel at sea and safely transport them to an offshore platform.
Over the last 10 years, CHC has expanded and enhanced its offshore services around the world to become an industry leader, and the dominant player in the North Sea, the world's largest offshore market. Offshore helicopter services account for two-thirds of CHC's operations. CHC is also a world leader in SAR, Repair and Overhaul and pilot training.
CHC Helicopter Corporation through its subsidiaries and investments is a leading provider of helicopter transportation services to the oil and gas industry, with a combined fleet of 312 light, medium and heavy aircraft operating in 21 countries, and with approximately 2,500 employees worldwide.
The Eurocopter fleet operated by CHC around the world is made up of 42 Super Pumas, 56 Ecureuils and 14 Dauphins – the largest civilian fleet of Eurocopter aircraft in the world.
Eurocopter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company), one of the three largest aeronautics manufacturers in the world.
The EC 225, the most developed version of the Super Puma family of medium-sized twins (11-ton class) has just received its IFR Airworthiness Certificate in compliance with the latest version of the JAR 29 standard from the new European Airworthiness Security Agency (EASA).
This certification is initially applied to a flight envelope with a maximum altitude of 20,000 feet (6,000 m) and an operating envelope including temperatures between – 15C° and + 40C°. This envelope, which is already sufficient for aircraft operational use, will be extended to –30C° and + 50C, and for flight in icing conditions by mid-2005.
The aircraft performed its maiden flight in November 2000 and has already flown passenger transport missions, in particular OFFSHORE and VIP, and public service missions like Search and Rescue (SAR).
This commercial aircraft has a takeoff weight of 11,000 kg; and a takeoff weight of 11,200 kg with sling capacity.
This new version, with its greatly improved performance, has already been ordered in a military livery by the French Air Force for use as a future combat SAR helicopter.
The principal characteristics of the EC 225 are its new main rotor system, reinforced main gear box (MGB), new engines, and a new integrated Flight Display System (FDS).
The addition of this proven new technology offers improved performance (speed, maneuverability), comfort (vibration, noise), and flight safety, and has already stirred the enthusiasm of all the crews who have flown this helicopter.
New Five-Bladed Main Rotor
The EC 225 uses the Spheriflex main rotor head, whose performances have already been proven on the SUPER PUMA L2 and EC 155. The Spheriflex technology, which is also used on the tail rotor head, further offers reduced operating and maintenance costs.
The main rotor is equipped with five blades designed with a very modern profile. The blades have a composite spar with parabolic blade tips with a downward dihedral profile. This five-blade configuration also gives the aircraft a particularly low vibration level. The main rotor diameter is 16.2 meters.
The rotors and tail unit may be equipped with an icing/anti-icing system for flight in extreme icing conditions.
New Main Gear Box (MGB)
The MGB of the EC 225 is reinforced to accommodate the more powerful engines and the aircraft's increased maximum weight. The casing and gears are made using ultra modern manufacturing materials and processes, which significantly improve the reliability of components. The lubricating system includes an emergency oil spraying sub-system, which goes much further than the JAR 29 requirements: 50 minutes operation demonstrated, for a requirement of 30 minutes.
The EC 225 has two Turbomeca Makila 2A turboshaft engines. This new engine employs a new airflow concept and materials; and has an emergency rating of 1800 kW (2448 hp-2413shp), i.e. 14% more than its previous version. Each engine is an independent assembly comprising all the systems, equipment and accessories required for its operation. The engine modularity makes servicing and maintenance operations much easier. A dual channel, duplex Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) controls the engines and offers a very high level of reliability. The power turbine is designed with a 'blade shedding' system ensuring engine integrity in case of overspeed.
New Integrated Display System
The EC 225 has an Advanced Helicopter Cockpit and Avionics System, which is designed to reduce pilot and crew workload with a 4-axis digital autopilot, displaying flight and sub-systems management information. This integration makes for more successful missions, by allowing the pilot and copilot to concentrate more on events outside the aircraft.
The Flight Display System (FDS) uses active-matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCD) with four 6" x 8" multi-function screens, two 4“ x 5“ screens measuring aircraft parameters, and a 3’’ screen for the ISIS independent backup system.
Maximum takeoff weight, internal 11,000 kg / 24,250 lb Maximum takeoff weight, external 11 200 kg / 24,700 lb Payload, internal 5,380 kg / 11,864 lb Engine takeoff power 1, 566 kW Maximum MGB power, 2 engines running 2, 600 kW Maximum range, at maximum takeoff weight 783 nautical miles Rapid cruising speed (9,300 kg / 20,502 lb) (3,000 ft / ISA + 20°C) 156 knots
In particular, the EC 225 is capable of:
- Transporting 19 passengers more than 400 Nm with the fuel supplies imposed by air traffic control authorities.
- Rescuing 21 people in the water, in very safe conditions, on the way to an offshore platform
- Rescuing 15 people in the water, 200 Nm from the coast, in very safe conditions.
20 aircraft from the EC 225 / EC 725 family have already been ordered and the total number of orders for the Super Puma / Cougar - EC 225 / EC family has risen to 682 aircraft.
Yep, that's the competition. Read carefully, however! Only the IFR certificate meets the JAR, meaning the autopilot and displays. The rest of the aircraft was not qualified to meet the latest regs regarding its structure, but rather it meets the older DGAC requirements.
Here is the JAR website describing that the JAR type certificate for the aircraft (originally named the 332LP) was withdrawn:
Does the S92 Main Gearbox comply with the latest FAR/JAR 29? Has the gearbox been demonstrated to run dry for 30 minutes without significant damage? What is the pilot action on the 92 if there is complete loss of MGB oil pressure?
vertalop, Sorry, but I believe the drop tests are a drop in the bucket (pardon!)
Is the EC 225 JAR Certified, or did they just do some tests? The paraphrase from the program director does not specify if a true airworthiness certificate from JAR was issued. As the JAR web site shows (by the fact that no JAR application was made), I believe the tests you refer to were partial, in-house ones, without JAR oversight. The difference is enormous, and only an airworthiness type certificate from JAR proves the point. I have seen EC actually give the JAR paragraphs to the DGAC and try to use that as evidence of "partial" JAR compliance, when a JAR member never saw nor approved the data, and major parts of the helicopter are as they were in 1980. Ask for the date and number of the airworthiness type certificate from JAR (which should also be posted on line, as it is a public document).
Imagine that the doctor you visit had no certificate on his wall, but instead told you that he had studied exactly as if he was in medical school.
These are a partial list of what real JAR compliance consists of, for all parts of the helicopter, not just those that were refurbished:
Yes Nick, FULLY CERTIFIED by EASA to JAR Part 29 Change 1 including all those items in your list. (EASA issued the type certificate, JAR 29 is the regulation is complies with.)
Also included is the 30 minute run dry main gearbox now required by JAR/FAR 29 that you did not mention.
Please can you confirm whether or not the S92 also has a true 30 minute run dry gearbox as I'm unclear on this? Is immediate pilot action required in the event of a loss of main gearbox pressure? Does the check-list say "Land Immediately"?
Do you have the certificate number and issue date for that EC 225 airworthiness certification, which escaped the attention of the press? Since the S-92 received the EASA Transport Helicopter certificate #1 in June, I would guess theirs is #2.
And the S-92's oil protection system protected the transmission to the FAR/JAR with such aplomb that we shut the test down at 3 hours, not 30 minutes, with the system still running along (but admittedly pretty close to its end). That is 2 1/2 hours longer than required. The pilot must activate the system, but has several seconds to do so after clear indications, and the checklist does not say "land immediately."
a further note:
This quote came from the EC press release, Feb 13, 2004:
I guess that means it "virutually" met the JAR requirements! I believe it was greatly grandfathered, and met some/many/a few of the latest JAR requirements, but its certificate will tell the "certification basis" which will outline every paragraph of the regs that it truly meets.
Last edited by NickLappos; 31st Jul 2004 at 10:50.
Thanks for that Nick. I will be able to see a copy of the EC225 Type Certification Data Sheet next week so may be able to give you the certification number then.
I don't think you should read too much into the wording of those press releases, there are some difficulties producing such things in a 'foreign' language (English). I am no expert on these things (besides I'm only a pilot!) and have never even seen an EC225 let alone the S92 but I'm sure that you have some non compliant items, which are accepted because they provide an equivalent level of safety. This is allowed for in the regulations. For example, the electronic engine instrument system may not comply with the exact wording of the regulation since having a 'green arc' painted on the screen is hardly practical. (A layman's explanation written in front of the TV at home with no reference to the actual documents involved) I think this is what was probably meant by "virtually" in the EC press release you quote.
From memory, if pilot action is required "within several seconds" of a system failure, such as a MGB oil pressure loss, isn't that non compliant with Part 29?
I am sure both machines are a great advance on those previously available in the offshore market and I hope that we all get to reap the benefits of improved safety. Let's wait for the facts to be published and not "rubbish" to opposition based on some poorly worded press release.
chopperman, I honestly have heard nothing like that. Wouldn't know how it would be an issue, the baggage compartment is actually the entire ramp, which allows 1200 lbs structurally, unless a bizarre cabin loading has set the CG very aft. With pax, the seating is indescriminate, normally. The compartment is about 6 feet deep and 6 feet wide, and accessed by lowering the ramp, so everything is prsented quite nicely. The height is triangular, 6 feet at the forward end, tapering to about 2 feet at the rear of the ramp.
Nick, is it not true that the only way the 92 got through the certification process regarding the 30 mins dry running was by using a manually activated valve that cuts off oil connections to outside the gearbox (cooler etc). The flight manual requires activation within 5 seconds, which is rushed in a modern multi-crew environment. Thus the oil remaining in the gearbox is hopefully not lost (assuming the leak isn't from the box itself). So the 92 cannot cope with total loss of gearbox lubricant? Is my take on that correct? Some have said that that appears to be a bit of a cheat on the certification requirements.
It does seem a bit hypocritical to crow about the fact that the 92 meets all the requirements of FAR29 (1999 version, wasn't it?) and that the 225 doesn't (which is true for a few small areas of the aircraft that have grandfather rights) when there is this question mark over how you got through certification (touch of patriotism by the FAA perhaps?).
By comparison, the 225, along with the 332 and I seem to remember the 330, have an automatic cut-off of external oil feeds following a leak, and the 225 now has genuine 30 minute + running following complete loss of gearbox oil (using a total-loss spray cooling system)
In my opinion this is not a particularly big deal for the 92, as there hasn't been much of a history of aircraft having to ditch due to loss of all gearbox oil, however your silence on this matter (following several "trigger" posts) makes we wonder what other glitches you might be keeping quiet about. It would be better to front up about this, as once the aircraft enters wide service, everyone will know anyway.
I was lucky enough to get a flight in the EC225 prototype the other day. I had a big grin for days! Its very impressive and has a number of advantages from the pilot's point of view, over the 92 (which I have also been lucky enough to fly). However the 92 has advantages over the 225 in some areas as well. They are both good aircraft, though no aircraft is perfect. It seems a pity that Nick has to jump in and criticise the EC225 in its moment of glory. No-one did that when he posted certification.
Incidentally Nick, according to my calculations from looking at both flight manuals (as opposed to sales brochures!) the 225 has the longer range, though its true that the disposable payload is slightly less on the 225 - still enough to take 19 passengers and full fuel though.
In my opinion, 225 is faster and smoother and nicer to fly, whilst the 92 has a bigger baggage bay and slightly more cabin room (lots more cabin height, though you can't make use of that when seated) but rather small windows. So I guess it boils down to whether you are a pilot or a passenger! I know which one I would rather fly!