Airbus Helicopters delivered the first EC145e twin produced at its Columbus, Mississippi assembly plant late last week. The helicopter is part of a 25-ship order placed last year by Metro Aviation for its air medical services business. Deliveries on the order will continue over four years.
“Airbus Helicopters is pleased to deliver this EC145e, now the third Airbus model to be produced in the U.S. by workers in our Columbus plant,” said Romain Trapp, president of Airbus Helicopters Inc. and head of the North America region. “For more than a decade, our workforce has been producing high-quality aircraft for both the U.S. Army and more recently our commercial operators in North America.” The EC145e, UH-72A, and H-125 single are all assembled in Columbus.
Metro plans to operate some of the new EC145es in its own medevac fleet, but said it would also remarket others in medevac, utility, and VIP configurations. While the EC145e was originally developed as VFR-only, Metro and Genesys Aerosystems recently developed an IFR avionics STC for the helicopter.