The flight lasted only seven minutes but was enough to show the EC645 T2’s potential to the launch customer. On November 27th, 200 metres (600 ft.) above the Airbus Helicopters Donauworth site, 100 kilometres (60 miles) north west of Munich in Germany, the aircraft carried out its first demonstration flight; a hands-on operation to test the manoeuvrability of the new light military helicopter that will equip the German special forces a year from now.
Presented last summer, the EC645 T2 is actually a derivative of the EC145 T2 civil helicopter.
Manfred Merk, Head of EC145 programme - Airbus Helicopters:
"We have powered up the aircraft with much stronger engines, Turbomeca Arriel 2E, the other thing that we’ve change is the avionic system on the helicopter which is completely modernised. The aircraft will be equipped with mission equipment relevant for governmental institutions."
Able to perform both day and night missions equally well in difficult weather conditions, the EC645 T2, will be equipped with winches and various weapons systems. With an operating range of 700 km (435 miles), a maximum speed of 240 km/h (150 mph) and an eight passenger seating capacity, this military helicopter has been designed to perform missions of search and rescue, reconnaissance and attack.
The German Air Force and the Thai navy have ordered a total of 22 EC645 T2’s which will be assembled at the Airbus Helicopters site in Germany. The recently begun test programme is expected to last until next spring, followed by the civil and military certification before the first deliveries late 2015.