Update on Eurocopter X4, potential replacement for Eurocopter Dauphin

Eurocopter Dauphin
The X4 could replace the Eurocopter Dauphin (above).

The replacement for the Eurocopter Dauphin helicopter series could be a “game changer,” says the CEO of Eurocopter. However, the amount of technological advancement for the rotorcraft could depend on partial French funding of the project, according to reports.

AIN Online reports that company CEO Lutz Bertling has set the bar high for the Eurocopter X4 project, offering a higher payload and increased performance in a safer, greener model. AIN reports that fly-by-wire controls might be a feature in the new model, which is expected to launch this year.

Flight Global reports this week that Bertling said an X4 will be “a totally different aircraft” if the French government declines a financial support application.

A previous AIN report said the French financial support could cover up to 30 percent of the program’s cost. In Fall 2010, Eurocopter began testing its X3 model, a turboprop hybrid.