Celebrating a helicopter industry icon: Eurocopter honors the Ecureuil family's past and present operating excellence, while looking to the future
This event, being held at Le Bourget Airport's heliport includes the initial delivery of Ecureuil's latest version - the AS350 B3e - along with informational kiosks that provide details on Eurocopter's support and services, training and innovation for this product line of helicopters. Also on display is an AS350 in Eurocopter's Stylence version, which merges ergonomics and advanced technology to provide fully-equipped in-flight offices for business executives and companies
"We are honoring a helicopter family that has truly earned its reputation as an all-around performer during a career that spans nearly 40 years and which literally has taken it to the highest summits," said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. "But the Ecureuil is not only about history, it is a helicopter that has a bright future ahead of it - especially in today's highly challenging operational and economic environments."
The Ecureuil family is produced in multiple single- and twin-engine variants: the AS350 B2 and B3e, EC130, AS355 NP and AS550 C3e. All of them share the same family features - excellent performance, high reliability, multi-mission capability, and innovative design.
Eurocopter's latest version is the AS350 B3e, which has a more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2D turboshaft engine, a new-generation digital Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) and an engine data recorder for condition monitoring. The AS350 B3e received its certification this month from the European EASA civil aviation authorities, and the initial helicopter is being delivered today during the Ecureuil celebration to Mafate Helicopters, based in La Réunion, France.
Eurocopter's Ecureuil made its maiden flight in June 1974, and already was well ahead of its time, reflecting the optimum balance between cost and efficiency - while also keeping the emphasis on operational safety in a full range of missions. This led to a series of technological innovations that included the Starflex main rotor and fiberglass-reinforced plastic blades, along with an advanced tail rotor configuration.
There also was a significant increase in the amount of composite materials used in the airframe for reduced weight, increased corrosion protection and lowered operating costs. Additionally, the Ecureuil had fewer parts when compared to other helicopters of the time, along with the application of simplified assembly procedures.
Ecureuil's nearly 40-year history has generated some very impressive numbers: more than 5,000 helicopters built, some 22 million total flight hours logged, and record-breaking performance that includes the world's highest takeoff - performed with a production Ecureuil operating from Mount Everest at an altitude of 8,850 meters.
These helicopters are being flown in all types of missions: law enforcement, medical airlift, utility, newsgathering, business and private transportation, along with light armed reconnaissance and aerial scout missions in military service.
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Über Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 17,500 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's number one helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market with a turnover of 4.8 billion Euros, orders for 346 new helicopters and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group's helicopters account for 33 percent of the total worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter's strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 30 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. There are currently 11,200 Eurocopter helicopters in service and some 2,900 customers in 147 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.
Weitere Pressemitteilungen dieses Herausgebers
- 22.05.2013 - Eurocopter to supply EC225 and AS350 B3e helicopters in an expansion of its relationship with China's State Grid General Aviation Company
- 21.05.2013 - Eurocopter alcanza nuevas cotas de elegancia y lujo con las versiones VIP y Executive del EC175
- 21.05.2013 - Eurocopter atteint de nouveaux sommets en matière de luxe et d'élégance avec les versions VIP et Executive de son hélicoptère EC175