Martin Bauer, managing director of business aircraft maintenance specialist Aero-Dienst (Booth 2151), is worrying that cheap maintenance packages offered by U.S. MRO players are drying up the European market. The Nuremberg, Germany-based firm is struggling to fill slots in its workshops, especially for heavy checks.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Auch, France-based JCB Aero (Booth 2243) has completed an extensive woodwork job as part of an Embraer Legacy 600 refurbishment, it announced here at EBACE. The describes itself as a fully skilled completion center for business aircraft.
Eurocopter (Booth 7050) has received orders from China’s State Grid General Aviation Co. (SGGAC) for two AS350 B3e AStars and one EC225 . They will be used not only to support the country’s electric grid development but also for other airlift missions. “The SGGAC is growing its helicopter fleet and capabilities,” said general manager Zou Ben Guo.
Eurocopter UK at Oxford Airport is branding itself as “Britain’s civil helicopter hub,” and with good reason. Of the 700 or so civilian turbine-engine helicopters that fly in Britain (the largest fleet in Europe), around 45 percent are made by Eurocopter, making it far and away the biggest OEM in the sector. To meet the demands of the operators of the 300-plus civilian Eurocopter helicopters, the company has put in place a comprehensive modification and maintenance program.
AgustaWestland (Booth 7070) has received orders from Russia and the British Isles for VIP-configured helicopters.
Exclases Russia inked a contract for five AW139 medium twins–in a mix of VIP and utility layouts. HeliVert, a Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland joint venture located in Tomilino near Moscow, will produce the AW139s. The deal is a follow-on to a previous agreement, which calls for one AW139 to be delivered in June. Exclases also has ordered a GrandNew light twin in VIP transport configuration.
Eurocopter (Booth 7050) unveiled a mockup of the executive version of its EC175 medium twin helicopter at EBACE and is also offering an even more luxurious VIP version.
Helicopter broker Heli Asset has sold the first Eurocopter EC155B1 medium twin into Switzerland, according to the Paris-based company. Zurich-based business aviation charter operator Heli-Link, a subsidiary company of DC Aviation of Germany, took delivery of the 2008 EC155, configured with eight VIP seats. Heli Asset says it placed 18 helicopters in 2012.
Eurocopter revealed a mockup of the executive version of its EC175 medium-twin helicopter today at EBACE and is also offering an even more luxurious VIP version. Prices for the new variants are around €17 million ($22 million) and vary with options. The VIP version is some €500,000 ($650,000) more expensive than the executive option.
AgustaWestland (Booth 7070) announced plans last month to open a second final assembly line for its new AW169 medium twin at its U.S. plant in Philadelphia to complement the main line for the helicopter in Vergiate, Italy. Major components for the AW169 will continue to be made to AW’s plant at Yeovil in the UK and this site will continue to provide engineering support, said company spokesman Geoff Russell.
Eurocopter is unveiling today at EBACE two new versions of the EC175 medium-twin helicopter, a VIP and executive variant. Designed by Peder Eidsgaard of Pegasus Design, a designer of business jet and super yacht interiors, the cabins will combine “flowing lines, symmetry and harmony in materials and colors,” according to Eurocopter.