During recent test flights in Marignane, France, Eurocopter used a combination of avionics and augmented satellite guidance to develop landing approaches that could lead to a significant reduction of the sound footprint from its commercial and military rotorcraft.
Using a twin-engine EC155, Eurocopter performed the test flights as part of the Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator program, under Europe's Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative. The Clean Sky Initiative is a public-private partnership aimed at reducing the environmental impact of aircraft flying in Europe.
The automated low-noise approaches were performed using the helicopter's flight management system (FMS) and automatic flight control system (AFCS), with landing approach vertical guidance provided by EGNOS, the European Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS).
The combination of the avionics systems and the SBAS provided automatic monitoring of speed profiles and ascent rates on the EC155. Eurocopter confirmed from the test flights that these low-noise approaches can be configured for local environmental requirements in different regions.
“Improving the neighbor-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.
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