Brasov – In a ceremony held today by Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, and in the presence of Alexandru Nastase, Secretary of State, Airbus Helicopters set down the foundation stone of its new Romanian factory, established to assemble the latest helicopter to join the H Family of aircraft – the H215.
The H215 is an evolution of the former AS332 C1e/L1e, offering a new business and industrial concept for this ready, proven and affordable helicopter, proudly built in Romania. Under the control of Airbus Helicopters Industries, the 10,000m² factory based in Brasov will house H215 production from procurement to after-sales, including design office activities, and will provide jobs to more than 300 employees in the long term. The modern assembly line with its takt time flow line will be capable of producing up to 15 aircraft per year. The first H215 to roll out of the assembly line is planned for 2017.
“The H215 is of strategic importance to Airbus Helicopters and will allow us to offer customers the best helicopter for the job, all with extremely competitive direct operating and maintenance costs,” Guillaume Faury said. “This expanded partnership with Romania, an important EU and NATO member, will ensure that our legacy twin-engine heavy helicopters are more economical than ever on current and emerging markets,” he added.
All H215 helicopters will come off the final assembly line in a highly capable standard configuration, able to support an extensive list of optionals (“shopping list”) ready to be selected. This new concept will allow the aircraft to best meet customers’ expectations and serve a wide range of missions, providing a modern and cost-effective solution for markets such as utility, United Nations peacekeeping operations and logistic support missions.
“This new 100% Airbus Helicopters industrial centre is capitalizing on a successful history of aircraft heavy maintenance and complex upgrade programs in Romania and cooperation in the country that goes back more than 40 years,” said Serge Durand, managing director of Airbus Helicopters Industries. “The aim is to offer our customers a completely new and modern business concept by proposing a standardized equipment definition for rapid production times and cost-effective acquisition prices,” he added.
The H215 is a twin-engine, versatile, economic and robust helicopter that combines advanced avionics and a reliable platform for rugged multi-mission capabilities. It offers long range capabilities, power, speed, a large useful payload and very good lifting performance in hot and high environments. Both EASA and FAA certified, the aircraft is equipped with the latest, most modern technologies meeting the latest safety requirements of the market. This includes a glass cockpit and the renowned 4-axis autopilot used on the H225, which provides flight envelope protection, unrivalled precision, and stability in even the harshest operating conditions.
Airbus Helicopters is a division of Airbus Group. The company provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in highly demanding environments. Flying more than 3 million flight hours per year, the company’s in-service fleet includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and in 2014 generated revenues of 6.5 billion Euros. In line with the company’s new identity, fully integrated into Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters has renamed its product range replacing the former “EC” designation with an “H”.