Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter)
In 1992, the Eurocopter Group was formed through the merger of the helicopter divisions of Aerospatiale and Germany’s MBB. The company's heritage traces back to Bleriot and Liore et Oliver in France and to Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf in Germany.
Aerospatiale held 70 percent of the equity in the new holding company, while MBB had 30 percent. MBB was part of Deutsche Aerospace (DASA), a unit of Daimler Benz (later DaimlerChrysler), which later merged with Aerospatiale to form the EADS group.
Eurocopter's history in the U.S. dates back to Aerospatiale's 1974 acquisition of Texas-based Vought Helicopter. In 1979, MBB also formed a U.S. unit, headquartered in Pennsylvania.
American Eurocopter is a subsidiary of EADS North America, the U.S. subsidiary of EADS. Eurocopter is headquartered in Marignane, France, and American Eurocopter is headquartered in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Eurocopter announced the EC175 at HAI Heli-Expo in February 2008. Development had begun in December 2005. The first flight was achieved on December 4, 2009.
A Chinese version is being developed alongside the EC175. Named the Avicopter Z-15, it is to be produced by China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC). While EC175 missions will certainly be varied, it is aimed directly at the offshore oil and gas industry. With seating for up to 16 (an 18-passenger layout is an option), a Eurocopter-quoted Radius of Action of over 270 nautical miles and a cruise speed in the neighborhood of 140 ktas, it is well suited for the offshore mission.
The EC175 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67E FADEC engines producing 1,645 shp and driving a five-blade main rotor. A Helionix avionics system with four 6 inch by 8 inch displays is standard, with a Synthetic Vision System (SVS) providing a reduced pilot workload and better situational awareness.