A new model intended to enhance Eurocopter’s competitiveness in the medium-twin segment and provide China’s Avicopter with a beachhead in the international market is one step closer to fruition following its first flight last week. The initial prototype of the EC175—which will be designated the Z15 in Avicopter’s catalog—lifted off from the Eurocopter plant here at 10:45 a.m. on Dec. 17 beginning a flight test program that will continue through 2012, when EASA certification is expected. ...

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