One target market for the new, heavy X6 is helicopter airlines, Airbus
Helicopters President and CEO Guillaume Faury told reporters at the Paris Air Show today. “The X6 is the next future helicopter for the commercial market, targeting oil and gas, commercial air transportation and search and rescue,” Faury said in unveiling plans for a two-year effort to define the specific attributes of a new heavy helicopter to succeed its H225 Super Puma. With the X6, “we continue the journey to becoming the Airbus
of helicopters,” he said, referring to the parent company that became a global force by offering commercial airlines competitive families of transport jets. It has already been decided that the new helicopter, targeted to enter service in the early 2020s, will be designed to carry 19 passengers and have fly-by-wire flight controls. It and Airbus’ medium H160 could help revive the market for helicopter airlines, Faury said. He noted that more people now live in cities around the world than outside them. “We believe helicopters will be, in the future, a way to connect” people inside and outside cities “in a very efficient way,” Faury said. “We want to be prepared in terms of products” that offer the low noise and high safety levels required to succeed in that mission.