EC225 gear shaft redesign certified by EASA
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has granted Airbus Helicopters certification for the EC225 helicopter’s redesigned vertical bevel gear shaft. The certification clears the way for production and installation of the gear shaft to commence on all rotorcraft of this type in operation worldwide.
Manufacturing of the redesigned gear shaft is underway, allowing worldwide implementation on concerned aircraft in service and in production, starting in the second semester of 2014.
The new design eliminates all three factors that, in combination, had caused two unexpected vertical shaft ruptures. It provides corrosion resistance, compensates for residual stress and eliminates stress hot spots.
Following the 2012 ditching of two EC225 in the North Sea and the suspension of part of the aircraft’s fleet, precautionary and preventive measures were immediately developed by Airbus Helicopters and successfully implemented by operators, leading to a full return to service.
Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice president – engineering, Airbus Helicopters, said: ‘Airbus Helicopters has put a very high priority on developing this new shaft for the EC225. EASA’s certification is a major milestone towards getting our customers flying with the final solution.’
Airbus Helicopters said that EASA certification will now be followed by validation from other international airworthiness authorities.
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