Airbus Helicopters Launches Super Puma Successor at 2015 Paris Air Show
In June 2015, Airbus Helicopters revealed the concept of a successor to the popular Super Puma aircraft. The radical heavy-weight twin-engine X6 appears as though it will share many of the design features of the company’s recently-launched H160 medium helicopter, with a five-bladed main rotor, making use of new low-noise blade technologies as well as new materials in the fuselage and structure. This new X6 program was launched at the 51st Paris Air Show and Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury is very excited. He said in a statement that the X6 will be the company’s first commercial product to adopt a fly by wire control system. Currently, the NH90 helicopter is the only one in the Airbus fleet that is stable enough to support this system.
Faury also said that during the two-year development phase, the new aircraft will first target the commercial market followed by military variants later afterward. The X6 will be targeted at oil and gas operators, the search and rescue mission market, and potential commercial transport customers. “This is a major milestone for us,” Faury says. “This segment is changing, and we want to be ready for the next decade.” The new rotorcraft will seat 19 passengers and is provisionally anticipated in the 2022-23 timeframe.
Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus Group is a European multinational aerospace and defense corporation that manufactures aircraft parts as well as civil airliners. Airbus was originally formed as the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), but in January of 2014 was reorganized as Airbus Group combining the divisions for development and marketing of civil and military aircraft, as well as communications systems, missiles, space rockets, helicopters, satellites, and related systems.
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