Introduction

Eurocopter Group was created in 1992 with the merger of the rotorcraft divisions of Aerospatiale (France) and Deutsche Aerospace (Germany). In January 2014, the company was rebranded Airbus Helicopters, opening a new chapter in its history.

2014


  • January 1, 2014: Eurocopter becomes Airbus Helicopters. The rebranding marks a new era in the history of the company as it joins Airbus and Airbus Defense & Space within the new Airbus Group.

  • January 27, 2014: The EC175 is certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

  • February 28, 2014: The latest member of the Super Puma family is unveiled: the multi-mission AS332 C1e utility workhorse version.

  • March 25, 2014: Airbus Helicopters and China’s Avicopter sign joint production agreement for 1,000 EC175/AC352 helicopters.

  • April 14, 2014: Airbus Helicopters launches Japan’s first helicopter full flight simulator, the EC135 P2+.

  • April 17, 2014: The newest member of Airbus Helicopters’ proven EC145 rotorcraft family – the EC145 T2 – is certified.

  • May 15, 2014: Airbus Group delivers 300th on-time, on-budget UH-72A Lakota helicopter to U.S. Army.

  • May 21, 2014: The BO105 clocks up 8 million flight hours, demonstrating the reliable service of this aircraft worldwide over 40 years.

  • June 17, 2014: The first “built-in-Brazil” EC725 is provided to the Brazilian Navy.

  • June 19, 2014: Airbus Helicopters’ X3 entered the French national Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Air and Space Museum) of Paris-Le Bourget.

  • June 25, 2014: The 200th NH90, a TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter), was delivered by NHIndustries to Belgian Defence.

  • July 7, 2014: Airbus Helicopters signs a record 123 civil helicopters with three Chinese customers from various Chinese provinces.

  • July 7, 2014: The EC175 Level D full-flight simulator receives airworthiness certification from EASA and enters service.

  • July 31, 2014: The delivery of the first EC145 T2 is made to German operator DRF Luftrettung.

  • October 21, 2014: EASA certifies the new EC135 T3, completing a new chapter in the EC135’s history.

  • November 27, 2014: The new lightweight military multi-role helicopter, the EC645 T2, completes its first flight.

  • December 2, 2014: Airbus Helicopters Training Services completes the instruction of its 50,000th trainee.

  • December 9, 2014: The EC135 T3/P3 enters service with Italian operator Aiut Alpin Dolomites in high-altitude rescue operations.

  • December 10, 2014: Airbus Helicopters works with operators to develop industry’s first Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) for EC225s used for oil & gas missions.

  • December 11, 2014: A double-handover ceremony marks first deliveries of the EC175 to NHV for oil and gas missions.

2013


  • January 23, 2013: The first NH90 to be assembled by Eurocopter España at its facility in Albacete takes flight.

  • February, 14, 2013: Eurocopter grows in Mexico with the inauguration of a production center for high-technology aircraft components.

  • March 5, 2013: Eurocopter launches the EC135 T3/P3 members of its enhanced helicopter family with orders from the U.S., Norway and Italy.

  • March 12, 2013: EADS appoints Guillaume Faury new CEO of Eurocopter as Lutz Bertling departs the Group.

  • April 18, 2013: The Eurocopter Corporate Foundation takes flight. The new philanthropic organization will support humanitarian causes and help the needy.

  • April 25, 2013: Eurocopter completes unmanned EC145 demonstration flights, validating ability to integrate unmanned flight capabilities into its helicopter family.

  • May 14, 2013: Eurocopter opens its new Systemhaus helicopter development center at Donauwörth, Germany.

  • June 11, 2013: Eurocopter's X3 hybrid helicopter makes aviation history in achieving a speed milestone of 255 knots during level flight.

  • June 13, 2013: Helisim celebrates the 100,000th hour milestone for flight simulator sessions with international customers.

  • June 20, 2013: Eurocopter breaks ground for new Paris-Le Bourget industrial site.

  • September 12, 2013: Donauwörth offers first Helipad in Europe with improved safety landing conditions.

  • September 23, 2013: It is announced that in 2014, the Airbus Helicopters plant in Columbus, Mississippi will be upgraded to a final assembly and test site for Eurocopter AS350 helicopters.

  • November 6, 2013: Airbus Helicopters' X3 hybrid helicopter makes aviation history achieving a speed record of 255 knots during level flight.

2012


  • January 1, 2012: The Eurocopter Group celebrates its 20th anniversary.

  • January 12, 2012: The first enhanced AS350 B3e helicopters is delivered by Eurocopter Vostok to Russian operator, UTair Aviation.

  • February 12, 2012: Eurocopter unveils its new EC130 T2. Seven launch customers order 105 helicopters.

  • March 5, 2012: The team behind the X3 hybrid demonstrator aircraft receives innovation award from the American Helicopter Society International.

  • April 27, 2012: The 500th EC145 helicopter is delivered to Mexican operator Transportes Aereos Pegaso.

  • May 23, 2012: Eurocopter delivers first set of A350 XWB passenger doors.

  • June 20, 2012: Airbus Helicopters begins X3’s month-long U.S. tour. The final leg occurs in Washington, DC.

  • October 3, 2012: American Eurocopter delivers first EC130 T2 to Maverick Aviation Group.

  • November 9, 2012: Airbus Helicopters’ X3 technology demonstrator takes the spotlight at ILA Berlin and participates in daily flight demos.

2011


  • February 1, 2011: Inauguration of new Eurocopter service and support center in Aberdeen.

  • February 15, 2011: Death of Jean Boulet.

  • March 6, 2011: Commercial launch of the EC145 T2 and the new “e” versions at Heli-Expo.

  • March 7, 2011: UTair signs contract for 15 EC175s.

  • April 19, 2011: Delivery of 1,000th Dauphin to Pawan Hans.

  • May 9, 2011: Ground broken for Systemhaus project.

  • May 12, 2011: The X3 reaches speed of 232 kt (430 km/h).

  • June 16, 2011: Inauguration of Eurocopter Global Logistics.

  • June 24, 2011: Eurocopter confirms signature of contract with Héli-Union for 4 EC175s.

  • June 27, 2011: Creation of the company KAI-EC Helicopter.

  • June 30, 2011: Eurocopter acquires Vector Aerospace.

  • July 12, 2011: Delivery of the 100th EC225 to Bristow Group.

  • July 20, 2011: Delivery of the 1,000th EC135 to the ADAC.

  • October 25, 2011: Ground broken for new plant in Mexico.

  • October 26 and 28, 2011: Declaration of conformity for German variants (T1/T2+), Italian variant (T3), French variant (T6) and Belgian variant (T11) of NH90 TTH in final configuration (FOC).

  • December 1, 2011: Delivery of final Tiger ARH by Australian Aerospace.

  • December 22, 2011: Delivery of 1st NH90 TTH to France.

2009


  • April 1, 2009: Eurocopter in Japan merges with the Group’s local distributor, increasing Eurocopter’s share in the company to 90%.

  • June 5, 2009: The first NH90 in IOC+ configuration is delivered to the German Army Air Corps School in Buckeburg.

  • June 18, 2009: Eurocopter and the BWB sign a contract to retrofit 26 CH53 GS/GE transport helicopters operated by the Germany Army.

  • June 30, 2009: The Tiger HAD version, equipped with two MTR390 “enhanced” engines providing a takeoff rating with 14% more power, performs its first flight.

  • July 10, 2009: As part of the Korean Helicopter Program (KHP), the Dynamic Test Vehicle (DTV) performs its first flight in Marignane.

  • July 31, 2009: Roll-out of the first prototype for the Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH) program in South Korea.

  • August 10, 2009: Three HAP Tigers in the Standard 1 version have been deployed in Afghanistan since this date.

  • August 28, 2009: The first NH90 in IOC+ configuration is delivered to the Finnish Army.

  • September 18, 2009: The British Ministry of Defence signs a contract to upgrade the 28 Puma HC1s operated by the Royal Air Force.

  • September 18, 2009: “Step A” qualification is obtained for the naval version of the NH90 for the Netherlands.

  • November 17, 2009: “Step A” qualification is obtained for the naval version of the NH90 for France.

  • December 4, 2009: The EC175 performs its first flight.

  • December 17, 2009: December 17, 2009 The EC175 performs its official maiden flight in Marignane in the presence of many guests: customers, partners, suppliers, journalists and Eurocopter employees.

  • December 24, 2009: Helibras, Eurocopter’s subsidiary in Brazil, signs a contract to upgrade the 34 AS365 K Panthers operated by the Brazilian Army Aviation forces.

2008


  • February 24-26, 2008: Eurocopter unveils the EC175 at Heli-Expo 2008: 111 purchase options are signed.

  • March 11, 2008: The first NH90 is delivered to the Finnish Air Force.

  • June 24, 2008: The EC155 drone demo (UAV) performs its first official unmanned flight.

  • June 30, 2008: The Polish Health Ministry signs a contract for 23 EC135s and an EC135 simulator.

  • November 19, 2008: Eurocopter announces the creation of Eurocopter Indonesia.

  • December 23, 2008: The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) orders 22 NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopters (TTHs).

  • December 23, 2008: A Eurocopter/Helibras consortium and the Brazilian government sign a contract for 50 EC725s.


2007


  • February 15, 2007: Certification of the new AS355 NP version of the Ecureuil/A-Star.

  • March 28, 2007: Inauguration of the new Eurocopter España site in Albacete.

  • June 20, 2007: Delivery of the first “high cabin” version of the NH90 to the FMV (Swedish Defence Materiel Administration).

  • June 20, 2007: Celebration of Eurocopter’s 15th anniversary with almost 800 customers at the Château de Chantilly.

  • August 27, 2007: The first UH-72A “made in America” is delivered to the U.S. Army.

  • September 2007: The fleet of 96 AS365/HH-65 Dauphins operated by the U.S. Coast Guard crosses the million flight hour mark.

  • September 25, 2007: The “helicopter by Hermès” is presented to the public at the NBAA trade show in Atlanta.

  • November 1, 2007: Eurocopter creates Eurocopter UK, its subsidiary in the United Kingdom.

  • November 30, 2007: The French General Delegation for Armaments (DGA) signs a contract for the provision of 68 NH90s in the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) version, including 12 firm orders.

2006


  • March 31, 2006: Qualification by NATO Helicopter Management Agency of the TTH German Army variant of the NH90 for the German Army.

  • April 6, 2006: Inauguration of the Eurocopter subsidiary in Russia, Eurocopter Vostok.

  • June 5, 2006: Official launch of the Korean Helicopter Program with Korea.

  • June 30, 2006: The US Army selects 322 UH-72A helicopters (a version of the EC145) for the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program.

  • December 11, 2006: Delivery of the first UH-72A to the US Army.

  • December 13, 2006: Delivery of the first three NH90s to the German Army.

2005


  • March 18, 2005: Delivery of the first HAP Tiger to the French Army.

  • March 18, 2005: Maiden flight of the first “high cabin” version of the NH90.

  • April 6, 2005: Delivery of the first UHT Tiger to the German Army.

  • May 14, 2005: World record for highest altitude takeoff set by a series AS350 B3 Ecureuil/ A-Star.

  • September 8, 2005: Maiden flight of an aircraft equipped with a rotor control system with servo-flaps.

  • December 5, 2005: The presidents of AVIC Il, Harbin Aircraft Industry Group and Eurocopter sign the EC175 cooperation agreement.

2004


  • March 29, 2004: The aeronautical programs division of the French General Delegation for Armaments (DGA) issues the military type certification for the HAP version of the Tiger. On 30 March, the European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) then qualifies this version.

2003


  • December 12, 2003: Maiden flight of the NH90 with full fly-by-wire controls.

  • December 15, 2003: EADS CASA acquires a stake in Eurocopter’s capital.


2002


  • September 22, 2002: Eurocopter and EADS CASA sign a memorandum of understanding to create Eurocopter España.

  • Creation of Eurocopter Malaysia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurocopter, based in Subang.

2001


  • June 21, 2001: Creation of Eurocopter Romania, a subsidiary owned by Eurocopter (51%) and Industria Aeronautica Româna(49%); based in Brasov.

  • July 12, 2001: Creation of Eurocopter Chile, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurocopter, based in Santiago.

  • December 21, 2001: Signature of a contract with Australia for 22 Tigers.

  • Creation of COHC Gamec, a subsidiary owned by Citic Offshore Helicopter Company (51%), Eurocopter (21%), Samwell Aviation (15%) and Bristow (13%); based in Shenzhen, China.

2000


  • June 30, 2000: The four partner states behind the NH90 program sign a contract for the manufacturing phase of the NH90 and the production of an initial batch of 298 aircraft.

  • July 10, 2000: The EADS Group is formed.

  • November 27, 2000: Maiden flight of the EC725.

1999


  • June 11, 1999: The Aerospatiale Matra group is founded.

  • June 12, 1999: Maiden flight of the EC145, successor to the BK117. The EC145 offers an increased maximum takeoff weight and payload capacity as well as modern cockpit identical to that of the EC135.

  • June 24, 1999: Maiden flight of the EC130. This new member of the Ecureuil/AStar family offers more cabin space, a very wide visibility and a reduced noise level meeting the Grand Canyon standards required by the American National Parks services.

1998


  • July 22, 1998: Aerospatiale announces its privatisation by way of a merger with the Lagardère subsidiary Matra Hautes Technologies.

  • November 17, 1998: DaimlerChrysler makes its stock market debut. Its subsidiary Dasa, a Eurocopter shareholder, is renamed DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG.

1997


  • March 4, 1997: Maiden flight of the AS350 B3 Ecureuil/AStar, successor to the Lama. Its powerful engine predestines it for aerial work. Eight years later, it breaks the world record for the highest takeoff altitude from the summit of Mount Everest.

  • June 17, 1997: Maiden flight of the EC155. This upgraded version of the Dauphin (Spheriflex 5-blades main rotor and quiet Fenestron® tail rotor) provides 40% more cabin space.

  • July 2, 1997: First fly-by-wire flight of the NH90, the world’s first helicopter to be equipped with a fly-by-wire control system.

  • Eurocopter Philippines Inc. is formed. Based in Manila, the company is jointly owned by Eurocopter (70%) and PADC (30%).

1996


  • February 15, 1996: The NH90 performs its first official flight in Marignane before representatives of the customer nations and invited journalists and VIPs.

  • October 30, 1996: Maiden flight of the AS365 N3, the high-performance version of the Dauphin family.

1995


  • June 9, 1995: Maiden flight of the EC120. With this helicopter, Eurocopter extends its range to include 1.5 metric ton machines.

1994


  • February 15, 1994: Maiden flight of the EC135, the first helicopter in the Eurocopter range and successor to the BO108. The most important addition to the EC135 is its Fenestron® tail rotor. It is also equipped with a bearingless main rotor.

1992


  • January 1, 1992: The helicopter divisions of Aerospatiale (France) and MBB (Germany) merge to form the Eurocopter group.

  • September 1, 1992: The NH90 development contract is signed.

  • October 20, 1992: The joint development contract for the EC120 is signed with Catic (China) and Singapore Aerospace Ltd (Singapore).

  • American Eurocopter is founded: As a result of a merger between the Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation and the MBB Helicopter Corporation.

  • Aerospatiale Helicopter Australia becomes Eurocopter International Pacific, later to become Australian Aerospace in 2002.

  • Eurocopter Service Japan is founded and later renamed Eurocopter Japan in 2005.

Early History