Eurocopter, July 07, 2011 - Paris, July 7, 2011
Hélidax, owned by DCI and INAER, has announced that it has passed the 20,000 flight hour mark with its fleet of Eurocopter EC120 Colibri aircraft—in under 13 months of operations. Hélidax was the first public-private partnership (PPP) to be launched by the French Ministry of Defense.
Since May 2010, Hélidax has trained two graduated students, including pilots from Belgium, meaning some 40 trainees have graduated. A third intake of pilots has just started its ab initio training in the EC120/NHE (New Training Helicopter).
Of Hélidax’s 36 aircraft, 32 are made available each morning for students of the French Army Air Corps’ training school (EAALAT) in Dax. The utilization rate of Hélidax’s aircraft approaches 100 percent.
“We are pleased to confirm that the availability of Hélidax’s EC120s/NHEs is excellent,” states Jean-Louis Rotrubin, Chairman of DCI and Hélidax. “The 20,000 hours of flying time we have gained in just over a year have made it possible to train two students’ intakes in these next-generation aircraft. However, we do not expect to leave it at that, because Hélidax’s potential goes beyond the needs of the military.”
In addition to the contract signed in January 2008 covering Hélidax’s purchase of 36 EC120s, the last of which was delivered in October 2010, Eurocopter and Hélidax have built up a true partnership. This rests in particular on the operational support provided by Eurocopter that guarantees the helicopters’ operability and availability,” adds Dominique Maudet, Eurocopter executive vice president Global Business & Services. “Another important factor in the partnership is the invaluable feedback Hélidax is able to give concerning its experience of maintaining the EC120s and their behavior in operation.”
For an aircraft in the light helicopter category, the EC120 can cover quite a wide range of missions: flight training, navigation, night flights with night vision goggles, autorotation, instrument flying and initiation to mountain flights. Its compact size, low operating costs, excellent flight quality and ease of flying have made it a particularly popular choice for training missions. Eurocopter has delivered to date almost 700 EC120s to many of the world’s air forces.
About DCI (Website: http://www.groupedci.com)
The company was created in 1972 to assist in military equipment sales to foreign countries. Its main mission consisted of providing operational training courses based on the know-how of the French Armed Forces.
DCI, a service provider in which the French government is the main shareholder, now operates throughout the defence and security spectrum. Culturally close to the Ministry of Defense, DCI offers outsourcing services to foreign countries for:
- consulting and assistance throughout the life cycle of armament programs,
- training engineering, in the academic, operational and technical fields.
DCI and its subsidiaries have been partners of the French Armed Forces for 10 years within the scope of service contracts and are endeavouring to extend their activities to European Union countries.
About Eurocopter (Website: www.eurocopter.com)
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 17,500 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market with a turnover of 4.8 billion Euros, orders for 346 new helicopters and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the total worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 30 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. There are currently 11,200 Eurocopter helicopters in service and some 2,900 customers in 147 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.