Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rotor & Wing Magazine August 2011


During the Paris Air Show in June, Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertlingsaid that the AS365/EC155 Dauphin medium twin replacementprogram,codenamed X4, is now fully launched. In an unusual arrangement, two versions are planned to enter the market successively. The other X factor in Eurocopters projects, the X3 ("X Cube"), was a highlight of the flying display; its applications are promised to market success in the offshore and commuter segments, according to Berding. In 2016, the first X4 will use technologies that are today at technology readiness level (TRL) 6, meaning they have been ground tested. Then, in 2020, a second version will feature systems that are now much more at a feasibility stage� TRL 2. This upgraded X4 will "completely change the way of flying," Bertling said. He asserted that a pilot would not recognize the cockpit and its controls. Indeed, an artist rendering of the cockpit, copyrighted by Eurocopter but released by equipment and engine manufacturer Safran (and with no mention of whether it is the X4s first or second iteration), shows a radical departure from what we are used to (see the rendering at www. rotorandwing.com).