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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eurocopter Launches X4 Dauphin Replacement

By Thierry Dubois

During the Paris Air Show last week, Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling said that the AS365/EC155 Dauphin medium twin replacement program, codenamed X4, is now fully launched. In an unusual arrangement, two versions are planned to enter the market successively. In 2016, the first one will use technologies that are today at technology readiness level (TRL) 6, meaning they have been ground tested. Then, in 2020, a second version will feature systems that are now much more at a feasibility stage—TRL 2. This upgraded X4 will “completely change the way of flying,” Bertling said. He asserted that a pilot would not recognize the cockpit and its controls.
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