Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
22 December 2004
EUR€23 million (USD$24 million)
Also Known As: EC 225 Super Puma and EC225
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Description: The Aerospatiale, thereafter Eurocopter and now Airbus Helicopters, SA 330 Puma is a medium lift multi-purpose helicopter designed in the 1960s to meet the requirements of the French Army for an all-weather transport helicopter. The prototype flew for the first time on April 15, 1965. The first production aircraft performed its maiden flight in September 1968. The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force (RAF) joined the SA 330 Puma program through an agreement signed in 1967. In 1981, Aerospatiale introduced the second generation Puma featuring stretched fuselage and more powerful engines. Known as the AS 332 Super Puma or AS 552 Cougar, the prototype first flew in September 1978. The third generation of the Puma helicopter family developed by Eurocopter first flew in November 2000. The civil version is called EC 225 Super Puma and the military version EC 725 Cougar. These aircraft feature a five-bladed main rotor, more powerful engines, state-of-the-art avionics, glass cockpit, more cabin room and improved performance. The EC 225 and EC 725 helicopters achieved initial operational capability in 2004/2005. More than 1,000 Puma/Super Puma/Cougar helicopters have been produced for customers worldwide.
The Airbus Helicopters H225, formerly the Eurocopter EC 225, is the latest development of Cougar/Super Puma family of helicopters for heavy transport in the 11-ton class segment. The H225 features a five-blade main rotor of the 'Spheriflex' type that provides optimum lift performance and reliability. The main rotor blades are equipped with a very advanced airfoil shape providing the aircraft with an extremely low vibration level. It is powered by two Makila 2A turbo shaft engines with dual-channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system and anti-icing system for operation in extremely cold climate. The helicopter gearbox has been reinforced incorporating advanced materials and new structural solutions such as rigid frames.
Eurocopter is marketing the EC225 twin-engine helicopter for a wide range of missions for the commercial market. It can assume offshore transport roles carrying up to 24 passengers and one cabin attendant in addition to the crew. It the Very Important Person (VIP) transport version the EC225 can accommodate from 8 to 10 passengers. Search and rescue missions can be assigned to this aircraft as well. However, offshore and VIP transport remain the primary roles. Overall performance stays highly reliable and the helicopter handle characteristics benefit from a full digital glass-cockpit and a digital 4-axis autopilot.
The first EC225 prototype performed the maiden flight in November 2000. It shares lots of characteristics and design solutions with Eurcopter's EC 725, which is intended for the military market. To date, 22 EC225/EC725 helicopters have been ordered and the total amount of Cougar/Super Pumas produced stands at 682. The first EC225 civil helicopter was delivered to the government of Algeria after rolling off the assembly line at Marignane, France, on December 22, 2004.
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