Airbus Helicopters has just announced the launch of the concept phase of its planned X6 heavy-lift helicopter. Over the next two years, the company will be seeking input from corporate customers and evaluating different designs. Possible applications for the aircraft could include oil and gas missions, or search and rescue operations.
The twin-engine X6 will be the latest member of Airbus' H family, which already includes the recently-announced H160 medium-lift helicopter. Sharing some features with that aircraft, it will also incorporate a full de-icing system for all-weather use, along with a fly-by-wire flight control system.
Once the concept phase is over, the X6 will enter its development phase. The finished aircraft is expected to be available sometime in the 2020s.