Eurocopter hands over the first of a total of six EC120 training helicopters to the German Ministry of the Interior - marking the 500th EC120 delivery to date
German Federal Police purchases latest generation light helicopters for use in ab initio pilot training
Marignane, 28 June 2007
In a ceremony at Eurocopter’s facility in Marignane, France on June 28th, the German Ministry of the Interior, one of Eurocopter’s largest civilian customers worldwide, took delivery of the first of a total of six EC120 training helicopters. This aircraft was actually the 500th EC120 delivered by Eurocopter to date. The German Federal Police intend to use this helicopter type for ab initio training of its own pilot personnel. The EC120 will replace an aging Alouette II fleet.
Over a period of 7 months, a total of 6 of these top-quality aircraft will be put into service. Numerous guests, including politicians, representatives of German authorities, as well as high-ranking Eurocopter representatives, attended the handover ceremony. The EC120 B is a latest-generation, five-seat single-engine helicopter with a design based on customer feedback. It has a proven track record as the most multi-functional training helicopter in its class and is used by customers worldwide. Its endurance, hover flight performances, and payload / range ratio outperform those of its competitors.
EC120 – state-of-the-art technology, easy handling, cost-efficient operations
The EC120 B integrates the majority of latest technological advances for dynamic components, engines, airframes, and avionics. It is equipped with a "Spheriflex" rotor head, which makes maintenance much easier. 8 asymmetric composite blades on the new Fenestron® tail rotor help reduce the helicopter's noise level to 6.6 dB beneath the threshold set by the ICAO. It's the quietest helicopter in its class, and its engine emissions have low levels of pollutants. Its engine is the latest Turbomeca Arrius 2F turbine engine that generates 504 shp/376 kW. Maintenance for the helicopter is extremely economical, and its engine is known for its exceptionally low fuel consumption.
Thanks to its maneuverability, high visibility and high availability, the EC 120 B is capable of performing both initial and recurrent pilot training. It is easy to fly and is equipped with the most advanced technologies, such as dual controls, twist-grip throttle, rotor brake, first limitation indicator for torque and engine RPM, and performance computation to help instructors perform training missions in optimal safety.
As Dr. Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of Eurocopter, stated at the occasion of the handover, “from a very early stage in our long history of cooperation over the past decades, the German Federal Ministry of Interior has always demonstrated great farsightedness in opting for the latest models and state-of-the-art equipment for its varied mission scenarios. By selecting the EC120, our key customer has once again chosen a benchmark solution for modern, cost-efficient and safe helicopter flight training”.
Comprehensive fleet renewal
In total, up to today, the German Federal Police, which is under the command of the German Ministry of the Interior (BMI), operates 85 Eurocopter helicopters - 10 Alouette II, 25 EC135, 15 EC155, 7 Puma and 8 Super Puma - for police and national security missions throughout Germany, as well as 14 BO 105 for air rescue operations. As the latest generation of civil defence helicopters, painted in bright orange livery, the EC135 T2i has begun to gradually replace the BO105. The handover of the first 7 EC135s for the “Orange Fleet” already took place in the first six months of 2007 in Eurocopter’s Donauwörth site and marked the beginning of a new chapter in German air rescue. In addition to the 25 EC135 in service in the Police’s “Blue Fleet”, a harmonization of the helicopters used by the German Federal Police is also underway.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 14,000 people. In 2006, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 3.8 billion euros, orders for 615 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civilian/commercial and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 17 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 9,800 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest range of commercial and military helicopters in the world.
100 years of vertical flight
The first vertical flight ever made was made by Paul Cornu in 1907. Since then great pioneering spirit, technological advances and innovative ideas have turned the helicopter into an aircraft without which air rescue as we know it would be unimaginable and which makes a significant contribution towards the safety and protection of individuals and to economic development. Eurocopter is proud to join in celebrating this centenary and its own passion for helicopters in 2007.
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