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.
During a Sunday morning press conference here at Heli-Expo, Eurocopter president Fabrice Bregier quietly announced a pending agreement with China to codevelop a new helicopter. Called the EC 175, the new 22,000-pound-gross-weight helicopter will be positioned between the EC 155 and the Super Puma to compete in the heavy-lift market.
Honeywell dove back into the civil helicopter business here at Heli-Expo with a series of initiatives it hopes will land it squarely among the major players in the turboshaft propulsion business. Of course, the biggest news came during a Saturday afternoon press conference, when Honeywell revealed that its new HTS900 turboshaft will power the Bell 407X.
CJ Systems Aviation Group and Fidelity Flight Simulation have released details on the new simulator flight training center that they will open in Pittsburgh this fall.
Since diversifying into a sales dealership last year, HelicopterBuyer (Booth No. 2056) has found a new customer base that prefers to deal with a rotorcraft’s owner rather than a succession of sales brokers. President Mark Clancy said that buying aircraft into inventory pays off for both parties.
American Eurocopter opened its new production facility near Columbus, Miss., in October. Once the commotion had died down, HAI Convention News paid a visit to interview president and CEO Marc Paganini, right, to discuss the progress Eurocopter has made in getting the operation up and running. Eurocopter’s activity in the last year was a main thrust of the interview.
Soloy is back.
Max-Viz is at Heli-Expo Booth No. 1469 to spread the word about its eight recently completed or in-progress enhanced vision system (EVS) STC programs for helicopters.
The air-medical market just keeps on reaping benefits for the world’s No. 1 producer of civil helicopters.
EUROCOPTER BO 105S, SANTA ROSA BEACH, FLA., OCT. 20, 2004. An EMS flight of a Eurocopter BO 105S, callsign Airheart One, crashed in Choctawhatchee Bay at 12:43 a.m. two minutes after takeoff from Santa Rosa in IMC. No flight plan was filed. The helicopter, operated by Metro Aviation as a Part 135 emergency medical services flight, was destroyed and the commercial-rated pilot, a paramedic and a flight nurse were killed.