Columbia Helicopters (Booth No. C811) is purchasing 10 Vertol 107-II heavy-lift tandem-rotor helicopters from the Swedish Department of Defense. The purchase will bring Columbia’s total Vertol fleet to 27.
Six of the Vertols being purchased were manufactured by Boeing while the other four were made by Kawasaki. Columbia spokesman Dan Sweet said that the company intends to deploy the helicopters worldwide as it obtains contracts for their use.
Columbia crews have disassembled and shipped the first three Swedish helicopters, and the remainder of the fleet will be shipped later this year.
“We are excited to have these helicopters in our fleet,” said Stan Wilson, Columbia’s president. “The Swedish military took very good care of these aircraft and we look forward to putting them into operational status as soon as possible.”
Columbia plans to refurbish the helicopters before their re-entry into service.
Columbia operates the largest private fleet of heavy-lift helicopters in the world and flies the large machines for missions from firefighting to logging and construction. In addition to the Vertols, Columbia operates a fleet of six Boeing 234 Chinook heavy-lift tandem rotor helicopters. Columbia is currently refurbishing a seventh 234.