Air Methods will be working with Mayo Clinic Medical Transport of Rochester, Minn., to provide interior completion services for the clinic’s new Eurocopter EC 145.
Eurocopter EC 145
Era Helicopters of Lake Charles, La., announced that it has signed a 20-aircraft order with Eurocopter. The contract is for eight EC 145 intermediate-twin-turbine helicopters, eight EC 135 light-twin helicopters and four AS 350B2 single-turbine helicopters. Deliveries are expected to begin next year. Era’s current fleet includes EC 120s, AS 350B2s, EC 135s, BK 117s and BO 105s.
Keystone Helicopter, a subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft, signed an agreement to provide maintenance and completion services to Seacor’s aviation division, which includes Era Helicopters, Era Leasing and EraMed. The Seacor fleet includes AgustaWestland A109s, A119s and AW139s; Eurocopter EC 135s, EC 145s and AS 350s; and the Sikorsky S-76++.
Eurocopter and its Chinese partner Harbin Aircraft are designing a new medium twin helicopter, dubbed the EC 175, to fill the gap between the EC 155 Dauphin and the EC 225 Super Puma. They are to unveil details of the EC 175 design at the Paris Air Show in June. Nevertheless, Eurocopter (Booth No.
Eurocopter, already the world’s largest helicopter manufacturer, shows no signs that its meteoric sales pace will let up anytime soon.
Last year the company delivered 381 new helicopters worth more than $5 billion and booked orders for 615 helicopters with a combined value of $6.45 billion. Those figures represent a substantial increase from Eurocopter’s 2005 order book, valued at $4.64 billion.
Eurocopter last year took orders for a record 615 new helicopters, 47 percent of them civil. In the U.S., civil and parapublic customers ordered 153 aircraft. Worldwide, the best seller is the Ecureuil/EC 130 line, with 257 on order, including military versions. The European manufacturer’s backlog now stands at about $14 billion. Eurocopter delivered 381 rotorcraft last year. Revenues increased by 18 percent, to $4.9 billion.
The air-medical market just keeps on reaping benefits for the world’s No. 1 producer of civil helicopters.
Swiss air-rescue provider Rega is ready to help any similar organization that would like to set up a membership-based financing plan. In a presentation at the Geneva Heli Trade show this fall, Rega spokesman Walter Stünzi explained how the private foundation has relied successfully on donors for three decades. An unusual case now, Rega’s system could yet become a model as it has many advantages over other financing systems, he said.
The industry gears up for its annual group hug, this year back in Las Vegas (March 15 to 17) against a backdrop of decent sales figures for new civil helicopters over the past year and a forecast of modest growth over the next eight. According to Bill Dane, senior analyst at Forecast International, between 2003 and 2012 projected deliveries are 9,500 helicopters valued at $19 billion.
One of the helicopters gracing Eurocopter’s static display here at the Paris Air Show is a bright red-and-yellow EC 135 belonging to Norsk Luftambulanse (Norwegian Air Ambulance). The air medical helicopter is the company’s eighth EC 135. It also operates three BO 105 CBS helicopters and has an EC 145 on order, with delivery expected in October.