The twin-engine Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter, well established in the emergency medical services and law enforcement sectors, is gaining greater acceptance as an executive aircraft, with about 100 delivered to this market, according to the manufacturer. Here at EBACE, Eurocopter (Booth No. 7513) is showing one of these aircraft, OE-XFB–owned by The Flying Bulls of Austria.
Eurocopter EC 155
Eurocopter yesterday delivered its 800th Dauphin here at Le Bourget after the helicopter’s 15-minute trip from the Paris downtown heliport. Eurocopter president Fabrice Brégier said that with 30 to 40 deliveries a year, Eurocopter was looking forward to delivering its 1,000th Dauphin.
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.
Design engineers from Eurocopter and the Harbin Aircraft subsidiary of China’s Avic II group gathered on January 9 at Marignane in the south of France to open the common design office for the EC 175 helicopter program. The joint program, evenly shared between the Europeans and Chinese, calls for certification and entry into service in 2011. However, so far details about the twin-turbine, seven-ton-class rotorcraft are scarce.
Accentuating the positive attributes of helicopters for business travelers, Eurocopter is displaying here at the EBACE show two of its most popular twin-engine models with corporate interiors–an EC 135 and an EC 155 B1. Both were recently delivered to customers.
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.
Turbomeca will power the 322 twin-engine UH-145 helicopters the U.S. Army has ordered from EADS North America. In total, 644 Arriel 1E2s will be delivered over the next eight years. The 738-shp engine is the same as that of the Eurocopter EC 145, of which the UH-145 is a derivative.
India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), headquartered in Bangalore, has brought two examples–one civil production aircraft and a military prototype–of its indigenously designed Dhruv helicopter to show here at Farnborough International.
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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