Eurocopter has successfully tested a hybrid helicopter that combines a turboshaft internal combustion engine with an electric motor for a world premiere, marking a new milestone in its innovation roadmap that opens the way for further enhancements in rotary-wing aircraft safety.
For this initial breakthrough in exploring the hybrid concept, Eurocopter is using the supplemental electric system to increase maneuverability of a single-engine helicopter during an autorotation landing – which is performed by helicopters in the event of a main engine failure.
The demonstrator helicopter is a production version of Eurocopter’s highly successful light single-engine AS350, which has been equipped with a supplementary electric motor. In the event of an engine failure, the electric motor provides power to the rotor, allowing a pilot to control the helicopter very easily during the descent to a safe touchdown. The next step is to bring this concept to maturity and evaluate its implementation on Eurocopter’s series production helicopters.
Leonardo secured additional helicopter orders worth €470 million at Heli-Expo 2023
Italian aerospace, defence and security specialist Leonardo S.p.A. (Leonardo) sold approaching 40 helicopters at Heli-Expo 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia on March 7-9 this year. Deliveries of the aircraft are expected to take place between 2023 and 2026. The sales involve AW139s, AW169s and AW109s which will be used for energy support, rescue and public service