Airbus Helicopters has revealed the concept phase start-up for a new European helicopter, the X6, at the Paris Air Show yesterday.
The company has said that it will now embark on a two-year definition period on this next-generation heavy-lift rotorcraft that will be tailored for oil and gas missions.
“X6 will be for the heavy segment in the next decade what the H160 is today for the mediums. It will set new standards in the industry not only for design, but for its production strategy as well, as we will rely on the industrial capacities of our core countries, including the upcoming pillar in Poland,” explained Guillaume Faury, the President & CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “Our objective is to bring to the market the most efficient helicopter solutions adapted for how our customers’ needs and the industry itself will evolve in the future.”
Airbus Helicopters said that the X6 would be a twin-engine rotorcraft that is mature and all-weather ready – including full de-icing – from the first delivery, adding that one of the major innovations to be integrated on X6 is the Fly-by-Wire flight control system.
Once adequate program maturity has been achieved in the concept phase, a subsequent development phase will follow, leading to an X6 entry into service anticipated in the 2020s.