There were some surprises in the new-helicopter department at the Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo show, held during the last week of February, but the big news this year was the crop of orders, especially from helicopter leasing companies.
Guimbal Cabri G2
Yesterday was a banner day for French helicopter manufacturer Guimbal as it marked its entry to the U.S. helicopter market, with the delivery of its first Cabri G2 light single to Newberg, Ore.-based operator and training provider Precision Helicopters.
France-based Hélicoptères Guimbal has reached its first production target of one helicopter per month, CEO and founder Bruno Guimbal told AIN, and the 10th Cabri two-seater was delivered last month. Guimbal is now gearing up to a production rate of two per month, and it expects to reach this goal by year-end.
Hélicoptères Guimbal, the France-based manufacturer that is offering a more modern, pricier alternative to existing piston-engine helicopters (see AIN, November 2008, page 76), is seeing slow progress in sales and production, apparently feeling the down economy.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is changing its voluntary operational evaluations to mandatory operational suitability (OS) approvals for new aircraft designs. This appears as an extension of type certification, at additional cost to manufacturers. The new rule will take effect in 2012.
France-based helicopter operator Ixair is stopping its private pilot training business and laying off about 10 employees. These changes, combined with slow demand for passenger transport, have caused a reorganization of the company’s sites throughout the country.
Start-up manufacturer Hélicoptères Guimbal delivered its first Cabri G2 two-seater to French-based operator Ixair on September 19. The company claims this aircraft brings new technology to the Robinson R22 and Schweizer 300 market, notably in terms of safety.
French-based operator Ixair (Booth No. 1088) will soon be the first to fly the Cabri, a new light piston helicopter produced by startup company Guimbal Hélicoptères. The first of a firm order for 10 helicopters should be delivered before this summer. The event was initially pegged for March but a longer-than-expected production start phase has delayed it.
Guimbal Hélicoptères has plans to take on the ubiquitous R22 in the training market. The company, launched by a former Eurocopter employee, has made headway, having secured orders from several European companies, including Eurocopter.
Guimbal Hélicoptères, a French startup company, announced it has received EASA certification for its light twin-seater, the Cabri G2. Bruno Guimbal, the designer of the small piston-engine helicopter, told HAI Convention News he has received 12 firm orders to date.
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