Eurocopter develops a new flight guidance concept for quieter helicopter landing procedures
Eurocopter has successfully demonstrated new landing procedures relying on augmented satellite guidance that can be tailored to more completely comply with the local environmental requirements.
Marignane, 15 July 2013
These new landing procedures were validated with a twin-engine Eurocopter EC155 during flight tests performed as part of the company’s participation in the Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator program – which is part of Europe’s Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative.
Eurocopter’s validation flights demonstrated significant reductions in the helicopter’s perceived sound footprint - consistent with predictions. They also confirmed that such automated low-noise approaches could be tailored to local environmental requirements, thereby optimizing Eurocopter helicopter operations for even the most sensitive environments.
The flight testing involved the use of optimized noise abatement flight paths compatible with Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations. During the EC155’s landing approaches, vertical guidance was provided by EGNOS, the European Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS), with the helicopter’s Flight Management System (FMS) coupled to the Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS). This enabled the new approach profiles to be flown accurately, minimizing the pilot workload with an automatic monitoring of speed profiles and ascent/descent rates.
“Improving the neighbour-friendly aspects of rotorcraft continues to be a priority for us, and these new tests underscore how advanced flight guidance systems can be brought together with the latest navigation technologies to reduce perceived sound,” said Yves Favennec, Vice-President of Research at Eurocopter.
The Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator program that supported Eurocopter’s EC155 flight evaluations is part of the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, which is Europe’s most ambitious aeronautical research program ever. Clean Sky’s goal is to develop breakthrough technologies that significantly increase environmental performance of the air transport sector, resulting in quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft and rotorcraft
Eurocopter is a founding member of the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, and recently joined with its other members to propose an extension of this effort during the 2014-2024 time period.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 22,000 people. In 2012, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 6.3 billion Euros, orders for 469 new helicopters and a 38 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries. Eurocopter’s worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports more than 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,780 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 148 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business.