Eurocopter demonstrates low-noise helicopter landings
Eurocopter has demonstrated new landing procedures that significantly reduce a helicopter’s perceived sound footprint as part of the Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator programme.
The landing procedures rely on augmented satellite guidance that can be tailored to more completely comply with the local environmental requirements. Such low-noise approaches could help optimise Eurocopter helicopter operations in sensitive environments.
The flight testing involved the use of optimised noise abatement flight paths compatible with Instrument Flight Rules operations. During the EC155’s landing approaches, vertical guidance was provided by EGNOS, the European Satellite-Based Augmentation System, with the helicopter’s Flight Management System coupled to the Automatic Flight Control System. This enabled the new approach profiles to be flown accurately, minimising the pilot workload with an automatic monitoring of speed profiles and ascent/descent rates.
Yves Favennec, vice-president of research at Eurocopter, said: ‘Improving the neighbour-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.’
The Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator programme is part of Europe’s Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative. Clean Sky’s goal is to develop breakthrough technologies that significantly increase environmental performance of the air transport sector, resulting in quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft and rotorcraft. Eurocopter is a founding member of the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, and recently joined with its other members to propose an extension of this effort during the 2014-2024 time period.
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