Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri
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Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri. Photo. Characteristics.

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri

The ES120 Colibri helicopter was created to replace the successful helicopters of the AS350 Squirrel family. When designing the new helicopter, modern technologies were used, composite materials were widely used in the design, the screw-fenestron technology was developed in the tail, thanks to this, the ES120 became the most silent helicopter in its class.

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri photo

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri photo

The design of the helicopter, called EC120 Colibri, was launched in 1990, when the French company Aerospatiale with CATIC (China National Aviation Technology Import and Export Corporation) and SingaporeTechnologiesAerospace formed a joint venture for mass production and development of the promising 4-5-local light helicopter.

The helicopter, which is able to meet the military and civilian customers, was named P120L. Design work started in February 1990, the first flight of the prototype planned for 1993, but the beginning of deliveries of machines in the series - on 1996.
Initially, the design of the single-engine P120L helicopter assumed the use of a four-bladed propellant-type propeller of the type "Aerospatiale", a fennestar screw in the tail of reduced noise and a simple ski chassis. The design considered the use of a large number of composite materials, of which the tail and main rotor blades were made, as well as most of the fuselage of the helicopter. It is expected that P120L will replace helicopters AerospatialeLama and Gazelle and press light helicopters such as Bell Jet Ranger on the world market. At the same time, the emphasis was on a small noise level and a long flight range.

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri photo salon

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri photo salon

In this project, initially leading role was in "Aerospatiale", which carried out the work 54 percent, whereas the share of CATIC was 30 percent, a "Singapore Technologies Aerospace" -16 percent. In October 1992 partners were able to sign a contract for a full-scale design of the helicopter.

The P-120L helicopter was planned to be built in two versions: an “economic” base one and with improved properties for use in high-altitude and heat conditions. In the design process, the initial design went through significant changes, becoming more standard. The designers went on reducing the largest take-off weight of the helicopter on the 500kg, installed a three-blade propeller and made changes to the power plant.
The design work was completed mainly for 1993. Then "Aerospatiale" merged with the German company MVB, forming the concern "Eurocopter", and the P120L helicopter changed its designation to EC120, while undergoing further changes. The share of "Eurocopter" in the new version accounts for 61 percentage of the umimal amount of work, the share of HAIC (Hafey Aviation Industrial Company) owned by CATIC - 24 percent of the total amount of work, and for "Singapore Technologies Aerospace" 15 percent. The European concern was responsible for the final assembly, certification and flight tests.

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri photo booths

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri photo booths

The plant of the company "Eurocopter" in the French city of Marignane built two prototypes. The first (F-WWPA) began to collect in the first half 1995, as he soared 09.06. 1995 years. Second (F-WWPD) prototype made its first flight 17.07.1996. Before the start of serial production of the helicopters passed tests for certification, including testing with the motor TurbomecaArrius2F, power 504l.s. and testing of the cold climate.

Features helicopter EC120 B Colibri:

  • Range: 735km

  • Cruising speed: 233km / hour

  • The highest altitude: 6096m

  • The highest take-off weight: 1715kg

  • Cabin height: 1.16m

  • interior length: 2.3m

  • The greatest number of passengers: 4

  • Interior width: 1.35

  • Height: 3.08m

  • Length: 9.60m

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri. Gallery.

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri on avibazeEurocopter EC-120B Colibri prepares for takeoffEurocopter EC-120B Colibri in flight

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri helicopter collisionEurocopter EC-120B Colibri helicopter cabinEurocopter EC-120B Colibri airbase

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri in the mountainsEurocopter EC-120B Colibri meeting of helicopters in the skyEurocopter EC-120B Colibri tail and cabin

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri prepares for takeoffEurocopter EC-120B Colibri sits on the runwayEurocopter EC-120B Colibri before takeoff

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