The German Ministry of Defence abruptly canceled plans to introduce a fleet of five Northrop Grumman RQ-4E Euro Hawk UAVs for high-altitude Sigint collection. The first aircraft, delivered in July 2011, was already flying on development tasks from Manching airbase near Munich. According to German media reports, the country has already spent €508 million of the planned €1.2 billion (in 2012 prices) to acquire the fleet, which was intended to replace aging Atlantic manned twin turboprops.
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.
Airbus (Booth 7040) announced here at EBACE 2013 that it has created a concierge support team for its ACJ customers worldwide, called C4you.
The C4you corporate jet customer care team is located at the Airbus Technical AOG center in Toulouse, France, and is comprised of experienced Airbus professionals ready to accommodate the company’s more than 500 corporate jet owners needing assistance with a maintenance or service item.
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.
Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defense (MoD) as a cost-cutting measure will not buy four production models of the RQ-4E Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system as planned. The MoD’s decision to stop the program after acquiring one demonstrator aircraft was disclosed earlier this week. During a parliamentary debate, Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said of the decision: “We prefer to pull the plug.
In the first quarter of 2013, revenue at Eurocopter fell by 13 percent, to €1.04 billion ($1.35 billion), with deliveries of 58 helicopters during the three-month period. Parent company EADS attributed the downward performance to the ongoing “technical problems with the Super Puma/EC225 fleet.” Affected have been both deliveries and the service revenue generated by helicopter operations. In the first three months, Eurocopter booked net orders for 51 helicopters, the company said.
Eurocopter performed a demonstration flight today with an “optionally piloted vehicle” (OPV) version of the EC145 light twin helicopter, aiming eventually at unmanned operations such as automated surveillance and cargo with any of its models. Secret flight-testing began early this month at an air force base in Istres, France.
An $8 billion order commitment signed by China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) on Thursday marked a thawing of China’s freeze on a purchase of Airbus widebodies imposed in protest of the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Milestone Aviation Group, the helicopter leasing firm that was co-founded in August 2010 by airplane fractional program pioneer Richard Santulli, has quickly grown to mammoth size. The Dublin, Ireland-based company said its fleet, which ranges from light-twin to heavy helicopters, now includes more than 90 aircraft from AgustaWestland, Bell, Eurocopter and Sikorsky worth more than $1.3 billion.
The number of Eurocopters based in China for both civil and parapublic operators has now reached the 100-aircraft mark. According to Eurocopter, the milestone helicopter–an EC120 light single–was recently delivered to an investor group that will provide “tailored solutions to support the development of helicopter flying clubs.” The company sold 16 turbine helicopters to Chinese commercial and parapublic operators last year, a 54-percent year-over-year increase. It claims a 40-percent share of the market for helicopters in China.