Airbus Helicopters will kick off opening day of Heli-Expo 2014 with a pair of major order announcements. Lease Corporation International (LCI) aviation CEO Mike Platt and executive chairman Crispin Maunder will join Airbus Helicopters president Guillaume Faury at 11 a.m. to announce an order for EC175 and EC225 utility helicopters. The manufacturer will also announce a six-frame follow-on EC175 order from Belgian aviation services provider NHV. “Having experienced the EC175’s performance firsthand, [NHV and its customers] have full confidence in the helicopter’s capability to meet NHV’s operational needs,” said NHV CEO Eric Van Hal. Additional details will follow in Wednesday’s edition of HAI Convention News.
Airbus Helicopters, exhibiting here under the former Eurocopter’s new name, will also announce the EC225e upgrade to the EC225 Super Puma. The company’s recently certified EC175 is on display in the Anaheim Convention Center, as is the EC145T2, which will be certified later this year. The company’s display also includes an AS332C1e, making its show debut at Heli-Expo, an EC135T2 in law-enforcement configuration and an EC130T2 with glass cockpit.
Two EC175s were sold to CHI Aviation, which will use the helicopters for search and rescue and passenger transport in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. The helicopters will be delivered in 2017 and represent the first Airbus Helicopters purchases by CHI.
Tour operator Maverick Helicopters is adding the EC130T2 to its fleet, as part of a 50-helicopter order signed in 2012. So far, the company has put five EC130T2s into service and another eight are scheduled to be delivered during this year. Maverick operates 34 EC130B4s.
Med-Trans, a Dallas-based EMS operator with helicopters flying throughout the U.S., took delivery of a new EC135 on Monday, the company’s 14th of a 16-aircraft order. “We selected the EC135 for the aircraft’s dependability and resourcefulness,” said Med-Trans COO Rob Hamilton. “This particular aircraft provides an adaptable platform that meets the needs of our ever-expanding customer base.”
Another EMS provider, Boston MedFlight, will place its second EC145 into service in May, after the completion is finished by Metro Aviation. This EC145 joins another that entered service in August 2013, and the fleet also includes a BK117; all three helicopters are operated by ERA Helicopters.