First EC225 delivered

Total, a leading player on the world energy scene, was present at the delivery ceremony of its first EC225 out of a series of six aircraft, on October 18th. CHC Helicopter Corporation will operate these aircraft in the North Sea and in Nigeria.


© Eurocopter / P.Penna
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© Eurocopter / E.Raz
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Jean-Marie Guillermou, Total’s Senior Vice President Development.

Interview with Jean-Marie Guillermou, Total’s Senior Vice President Development.


What does a company like Total expect of helicopter manufacturers?
Jean-Marie Guillermou:
Above all, we expect them to design safe and reliable helicopters, capable of optimally fulfilling the missions with which we entrust them – that is, basically passenger and cargo transport and helihoisting. We also want maximum availability for our helicopters. We have worked with Eurocopter for several decades now, and particularly appreciate the fact that they take our needs into consideration when designing new helicopters. We are listened to and understood.

Total has chosen the EC225 to carry out the tough missions in the North Sea.
Why did you choose this model?
J-M.G.:
Total operates about 40 helicopters in over 20 countries, but we still have a very high level of activities in the North Sea. We have an excellent command of operations there despite the fog, the ice, night flights and long distances. When the time came to renew our fleet, we looked for a new-generation helicopter with state-of-the-art technology. We chose the EC225 because of its advantages in terms of safety: its MGB(1) that enables the helicopter to fly for an hour in the event of an oil leak, its new, safer blade technology, and its wide windows that facilitate evacuation in an emergency. We also appreciate the new cabin interior of the EC225 destined for oil & gas missions. It brings noticeable progress in terms of soundproofing and ergonomics.

What are the challenges facing Total in future?
J.-M. G.:
We will continue to search for oilfields offshore. But the scenarios that we have to implement in order to extract petroleum are more and more complex, and we will need our helicopters to be able to meet today’s demands. That means transporting passengers and material to platforms that are a long way from the coast, as is the case with the Stockman field in Russia, which is 600 km offshore.



(1) Main gear box


_AUTHOR: BELÉN MORANT


THE OPERATOR’S OPINION

“The helicopter market is booming, and all the manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the demand,” stresses Keith W. Mullet, Managing Director European Operations at CHC. CHC is very pleased with the strong commitment to support made by Eurocopter recently both to the industry and to CHC as part of our EC225 purchase. We believe Eurocopter has recognised the industry challenges and are committed to being proactive and flexible with supply chain solutions. What’s more, the EC225 now has new avionics as well as greater autonomy, speed and comfort. It’s a real leap forwards in technology compared to the AS332 L2 Super Puma. On the training side of things, our pilots started their training at ETS(2) on 22 October. As well as the traditional pilot training, we shall also be using flight simulators in future. CHC has strongly invested in Heli-One –our sister company– in order to acquire the capabilities to perform the O and E level maintenance operations.



(2) Eurocopter Training Services