The EC175 arrives on the scene

The word from the operators on the Eurocopter stand at Heli-Expo 2008, which took place in Houston in February, was unanimous: the EC175 is the helicopter that the market was waiting for.

The EC175 was greeted by a total of 111 purchase options when it was presented at Heli-Expo 2008 in Houston. The helicopter was a big hit with the operators and from 2012 the EC175 will offer what looks like a magical formula: 16 passengers and a range of 200 nautical miles. The EC175 will fly as fast and as far as aircraft from the heavy helicopter category, but at much lower costs and with the same payload. “This will bring so much flexibility to our operations”, explained the launch customers at the Eurocopter stand in Houston. “There is a huge requirement for this type of aircraft on a market that is developing very rapidly.” The future operators were involved in the development of the EC175 very early on, working on the customer advisory team (CAT), and had plenty of time to incorporate their requirements in this new aircraft. The end result is not just a high-performance helicopter, which is the right size and has the right capacity – the EC175 also complies with the latest and most exacting regulations.

Bristow

 Eurocopter/Olivier Douliery
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William Chiles, president & CEO.

We have a very long-standing trust-based relationship with Eurocopter, having been closelyinvolved in the development and launch of the AS332 Super Puma in the oil & gas marketin the early 1980s and having later been the oil & gas industry launch customerfor the EC225. The same applies to the EC175 where three of our employees, including ourchief pilot in the UK, worked as part of the design team brought together by Eurocopter.Now that we have agreed to be the oil & gas launch customer for the EC175, we haveformed an expanded team of multi-disciplined professionals to assist in the furtherdevelopment leading to the initial introduction.

VIH Aviation Group

 Eurocopter/Olivier Douliery
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Ken Norie, president & CEO.

The future of our flight operations lies in medium-weight helicopters. For light, onshore transport missions, we already operate 16 AStars and have 6 additional AS350 B3’s and 4 EC145’s on order from Eurocopter, Also we have recently taken delivery of an EC135. When the EC175 was presented to us, the first thing we did was compare it with the competition – and, in the end, we went with the EC175. We will operate our aircraft in the 15/16 passenger configuration, undoubtedly over flight segments of 200 nautical miles.

Global Vectra

 Eurocopter/Olivier Douliery
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Swati Rishi, managing director.

We began our flight operations three-and-a-half years ago, and we are now the leading Indian oil & gas operator with a market share of 84%. Our EC175s will fly in hot and humid conditions, and notch up an average of roughly 100 flight hours per month. The capabilities of the EC175 inspire us with great confidence, as does Eurocopter’s technical support policy. Eurocopter has invested heavily in India. This is a key factor for us.



_AUTHOR: ALEXANDRE MARCHAND