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Eurocopter hands over 600th aircraft of its top-selling EC135 helicopter

Slovenian Ministry of the Interior purchases latest generation light-twin engine border surveillance helicopters

Marignane, 20 September 2007

After its market introduction in 1996, the EC135 quickly did not only turn into an unrivalled commercial success in the light, twin-engine helicopter segment, but also proved to perfectly cover a vast variety of mission requirements, due to its flexibility, exceptional manoeuvrability, an unchallenged 98 percent availability, its customer-friendly maintenance schedules and environmental compatibility. 600 delivered aircraft make this helicopter type the world’s best seller and international benchmark in its class.

With its powerful industry at Donauwörth Eurocopter is responding to the ever-increasing demand for the EC135 with steady production increases. In the last 12 months 100 EC135 were delivered. The production rate will further grow so that every second day, an EC135 will leave a final assembly line.

In a ceremony in the presence of Eurocopter’s President and CEO Dr. Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter handed over the aircraft to Mr. Vojko Robnik, head of Air Support Unit of the Slovenian police, as representative of the Slovenian Ministry of the Interior, which purchased the 600th aircraft of this type ever built as its first Eurocopter fleet member. The helicopter will be operated by the Flight Squadron of the Slovenian Police, who is entering a new era in mission responsibilities, for border surveillance according to Schengen. The new Slovenian EC135 police helicopter is a designated EC135 P2i with increased payload (max. Take-off weight: 2,910 kilogrammes) and take-off power (2 times 690 horsepower) as well as improved performance at high altitude and high temperatures. The aircraft is fitted with Searchlights, Flear, Data downlink and – for the first time to be found in an EC135 – with a fully digital Intercom System. The helicopter is capable of night-flight operation and is single Pilot IFR compatible.

Bestseller EC135 – versatile, safe and cost-efficient

The EC135 stands for modernity and innovation: According to international safety regulations for EMS, it is powered by two turbine engines, making it as fast as 287 kilometres per hour and giving it an average range of 750 kilometres. The worldwide success of this Eurocopter type is due to the helicopter’s easy handling, its extremely good manoeuvrability and its high availability (98 percent). Other assets of the EC135 lies are its bearingless main rotor and shrouded Fenestron® tail rotor, reducing noise level and vibrations during operations decisively (the external noise level is 7 db below ICAO limits). In addition, Eurocopter has decisively minimized maintenance costs of the EC135. “Today, an EC135 has to be serviced for the first time after 400 hours flying time. This is an absolute benchmark in its class”, states Markus Steinke, Vice President EC135 Programme at Eurocopter.

Concerning the latest market success of the EC135, especially in Eastern Europe, Olivier Michalon, Eurocopter Vice President Sales & customer Relation Eastern Europe and Central Asia, states: “With the EC135, we are perfectly matching the demanding modernization plans in the parapublic sector in new member countries of the European Union such as the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary or Lithuania, where authorities are deciding for best-value-for-money on a long-term basis and for a long-term mission capability. Due to its versatility and excellent track record in hardest mission environments, the EC135 is also quickly gaining ground on the Corporate and VIP market in Eastern European countries like Poland, Romania, Ukraine or Russia”.

The EC135 – leader in Police and Law Enforcement missions

The EC135 has not only established itself as the leading helicopter in international Air Rescue with a global market share of 80 percent, but also conquered the market of Police and Law Enforcement missions. About 140 EC135s are currently in service in this sector all over Europe, which equates to a market share of around 60% in this class.

About Eurocopter

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 centers. 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.

For more information, please contact:

Jesus RUIZ
Tel.: +34 91 379 66 04

Christina GOTZHEIN
Tel.: + 49 (0) 89 60 00 64 88

Tel.: +33 (0) 1 49 34 45 55

Christopher BACH
Tel.: +49 (0) 906 71 45 65

Pekkee SUM
Tel.: +33 (0)4 42 85 17 13


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