Eurocopter Launches X6, X9 Programs

Strategy centers on total refresh of model line.

Eurocopter Launches X6, X9 Programs

Eurocopter Launches X6, X9 Programs

Continuing a strategy that more and more looks like a complete renewal of its product line, Eurocopter has revealed it is working on two new helicopter projects – the X6, a revamped model to be developed from the Super Puma family, and the X9, a project just now getting under way at the company’s factory in Donauwörth, Germany.

The EADS subsidiary has been working feverishly on the development of the X3 and X4 helicopter models, both in the class of the Eurocopter EC 155. The big news is that Eurocopter has indeed started developing the long-rumored replacement for the Super Puma, which entered service in 1981 and is still being built today.

At this point, it’s too early to call the X6 and X9 full-fledged projects, but the fact that Eurocopter is quietly starting to mention these code names provides clues about the company’s long-term goals beyond 2020. Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling officially announced the X9 project on a visit to Donauwörth on August 2. The company declined to provide any further details about the model, other than to say it would be built at the German factory alongside the EC135 and EC145.

Look for our "Future Copters" feature article in the September issue of Flying with full details on the progress of Eurocopter's X3 and X4 programs.