Eurocopter announced here yesterday that Abu Dhabi-based operator Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) has signed the first firm order for the EC 135 light twin in its “l’Hélicoptère par Hermès” luxury version. Eurocopter expects to sell at least six examples this year of the ?5.8 million ($9 million) helicopter, which was introduced at the NBAA show in September last year.
By the end of the year, FAS will have six Eurocopters in its fleet–three EC 130s, the EC 135 and two AS 365 N3 Dauphin. It operates them in tourism, corporate charter, search and rescue and offshore oil support missions. FAS also has a 40-employee maintenance center for Eurocopters.
The EC 135, in its Hermès version, features an exclusive cabin layout with the signature French firm’s canvas used to cover surfaces from floor to ceiling. It also has a sliding glass partition between the passenger compartment and the cockpit. It is available in four paint schemes and five interior colors.
Eurocopter offers 10 models as business aircraft, Eurocopter senior executive v-p Philippe Harache, told EBACE Convention News. Emphasis is now on the EC 145, which can be seen here on the static display. Harache hinted this could be the next Eurocopter to get the Hermès treatment. Eurocopter last year sold 168 rotorcraft to the business aviation market, 30 percent more than in 2006, and intends to stay on the same trend this year.
Eurocopter can be found here in Hall 7 at Booth No. 7540.