American Eurocopter (Booth No. 2546) has arrived at NBAA’12 with a pocketful of recently announced orders and deliveries.
The largest order, from Med-Trans of Dallas, includes 10 firm and six options for Eurocopter’s EC135 light twin. “Med-Trans has been a valued customer for many years,” said Marc Paganini, president and CEO of American Eurocopter, at the ILA Berlin Airshow in mid-September. “We look forward to supporting its continued growth.” Med-Trans selected the EC135 in 2007, purchasing eight and optioning eight more. It currently operates 20 EC135s in its fleet.
According to Eurocopter, more than 1,000 EC135s are in service around the world, with about half in air medical service. In the U.S., there are more than 260 EC135s in service.
Another airmed operator, Wichita-based EagleMed, announced its purchase of an AS350B2 and an AS350B3, also at ILA. “We chose the AS350 line as the base of our fleet because these aircraft have proven to be extremely reliable,” said Larry Bugg, president of EagleMed.
Along with the AStars, EagleMed, founded in 1982, also operates Beechcraft King Airs in air medical service, a total of 25 aircraft in eight states. All the company’s aircraft are configured for mission-critical transport and equipped to transform into flying intensive-care units. Metro Aviation in Shreveport, La., is completing EagleMed’s newest AStars.
Earlier this year, the Pima County (Ariz.) Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) placed its new AS350B3e into service, the department’s first Eurocopter. It is also the first AS350B3e delivered to a U.S. law enforcement agency. The PCSD, based in Tuscon, is using the helicopter for border-crime enforcement, tactical-team insertion and search and rescue. The aircraft is equipped with a thermal imager, searchlight and video downlink.–R.R.P.