After a year in which only 29 EC 225 Super Pumas were sold, industry leader Eurocopter announced yesterday two separate deals for the helicopter, totaling 19 aircraft in all with an option for an additional eight. CHC Helicopter Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, ordered 16, while the Bristow Group of Houston bought three and took options for eight more.
Eurocopter yesterday reported orders here at Le Bourget for EC 225 and EC 155 B1 rotorcraft from Bristow Helicopters and, in a separate contract, for EC 135s from Era Helicopters. UK-based Bristow took delivery of one EC 225 at Eurocopter’s static display. Eurocopter president and CEO Fabrice Brégier handed over of the aircraft, which is on display throughout the show.
NH Industries (NHI) has put project studies for a commercial version of the NH90 helicopter on the back burner. The multinational partnership had been studying a civil version of the NH90 military utility rotorcraft for possible application in governmental, executive and offshore-support roles.
Citic Offshore Helicopter Co. Ltd. (COHC), the largest helicopter operator in Asia, and Eurocopter announced here in Farnborough the signing of a contract for two EC 225 helicopters.
Bristow Group celebrated its new brand identity with the unveiling of a redecorated S-76 at the Sikorsky Aircraft booth (No. 2537) yesterday. The company was formerly known as Offshore Logistics, but a survey among customers and employees last year confirmed that the Bristow brand name was stronger and should be applied to all the company’s business units, said Bristow president and CEO William Chiles.
Aviation Industries of China (AVIC II) and Eurocopter have agreed to the joint development of a new six-ton twin-engine helicopter–the EC 175–to fill the niche between the AS 365 Dauphin (Dolphin) and the Super Puma. A five-year development phase is expected to start soon. The new civil type is expected to make its first flight in 2009, with European and Chinese certification (and production) set for 2011.
The upsurge in oil and gas activity is putting increasing strain on helicopter operators’ ability to serve their offshore customers, and highlighting a potential shortage of aircraft.
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