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Press Release

02/11/2001

Ecureuil / Squirrel / AStar / TwinStar family: Eurocopter delivers the 3000th aircraft. It's an EC 130 B4 for Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Marignane, 11.02.2001

Ecureuil / Squirrel / AStar / TwinStar family: Eurocopter delivers the 3000th aircraft. It's an EC 130 B4 for Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

The continued market success of Eurocopter's Ecureuil / Squirrel / AStar / TwinStar family hits a new peak during HeliExpo 2001 with the delivery of the 3000th aircraft. It is in fact an EC 130 B4, latest addition to the single-engined AStar product line, and the operator is Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, USA. This company is the launch customer for the ultra-quiet, spacious, high-performance new helicopter. Being the largest helicopter operator in Hawaii and a long-standing Eurocopter customer, Blue Hawaiian will add the EC 130 B4 to its existing AStar fleet and fly it for an average of 100 flight hours per month in tourism/sightseeing missions.

Photo: Michel Isaac

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters was founded in 1985 by Dave and Patti Chevalier. It began on Maui with a single four-passenger Bell Jet Ranger. Since then, the company's fleet has grown to 15 state-of-the-art, six-passenger AStars - six AS 350 BAs and nine of the more powerful AS 350 B2s. Employing 130 people including 33 pilots, all of whom are high-time experts, Blue Hawaiian flies more than 140,000 passengers a year out of three bases, one on Maui and two on the Big Island of Hawaii. Having won several awards as the State of Hawaii's No. 1 tour operator, the company is an FAA certified Repair Station, a factory-authorized Service Center for American Eurocopter and a factory-authorized Service Center for Turbomeca Engine Corporation. Renowned for their "Best Equipment, Best Maintenance" policy, and flying for demanding passengers in an environmentally sensitive area, the EC 130 B4 is the perfect choice for Blue Hawaiian.

Photo: Michel Isaac

With its additional passenger seat, greater visibility, high performance, greatly reduced noise emission and added comfort, Eurocopter's latest member of the AStar family will complement Blue Hawaiian's impressive fleet. Eurocopter launched the single-engined AS 350 AStar in 1977. The twin-engined AS 355 TwinStar was certified in 1980. The manufacturer then consistently developed a fully-fledged product family from the basic model, constantly upgrading, adapting and modernizing them in close contact with the customers as well as anticipating and meeting new market requirements. Military versions of the model, the single-engined AS 550 and the twin-engined AS 555, were developed to meet the most stringent requirements both in land and naval missions.

Photo: Michel Isaac

The commercial market is presently being served with the AS 350 B2 which comes at the lowest cost in its category, the AS 350 B3, the most powerful in its category, and now the EC 130 B4, the most spacious and quietest in its category combined with the performance of the B3 version.

These three single-engined aircraft are joined by the twin-engined AS 355 N which provides excelllent performance for operation above densely built-up areas with rooftop take-off capability, or aerial work in mountain regions and demanding utility work. It is a family concept that works through evolution and innovation, as the delivery of the 3000th AStar, the EC 130 B4 to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, proves.

Eurocopter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company), one of the world's three largest aerospace manufacturers.

For further information, please contact :

Jean-Louis Espes (in France)

Tel: (+33) 4 42 85 95 55
Fax: (+33) 4 42 85 95 64
Christina Gotzhein (in Germany)

Tel: (+49 89) 6000 6488
Fax: (+49 89) 6000 4437

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