Eurocopter, March 30, 2010 - Fort Erie, Ontario, Eurocopter Canada (ECL) is pleased to announce the sale of three EC130 B4 single-engine helicopters to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for forest fire management work and utility missions across Canada’s second largest province.
With the delivery of the three new helicopters from the ECL facility in Fort Erie, the ministry will have a fleet of seven EC130 B4s available for the operating season.
“The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources is recognized as one of the longest operating and most innovative provincial air service agencies in the world,” said Mr. Guy Joannes, President & CEO, ECL. “We are pleased to receive this order for EC130 B4 aircraft for forest fire management and resource stewardship activities.”
The Ministry of Natural Resources has been using aircraft for forestry and forest fire management since the founding of the Ontario Provincial Air Service in 1924. On June 26, 1946, it gained the international distinction of being the first agency in North America to use a helicopter in forest fire control. Helicopters were added to the fleet in 1984.
Helicopters play an important role in helping the ministry carry out resource management activities, including delivery of forest fire crews and equipment for fire management activities, aerial animal surveys, wildlife darting work and worksite evaluations. They also provide rapid response times across a vast northern wilderness, which contains tens of thousands of lakes but very few roads.
The EC130 B4 supports the ministry’s “one strike” concept (movement of personnel and equipment to the fire in one trip) as well as delivery of personal gear in the event that firefighters need to overnight at the fire. After setting the initial attack team on the ground with their water pumps and tools, the EC130 B4 pilot will often join the battle using a water bucket to hit the fire’s “hot spots”.
Along with the initial attack operations, the ministry utilizes the EC130 B4 in support of other resource-related activities, including wildlife surveys, fish stocking, reconnaissance, compliance monitoring, enforcement missions, remote sensing and forest fire management.
The single-engined EC130 B4’s cabin offers 23% more space than the other versions of the Ecureuil / AStar family of which it is a member. It can be equipped with seven seats or eight seats, with a cabin design that provides an unbeatable panoramic view.
It is one of the quietest helicopters in the world, with its noise level being 8.5 dB below ICAO limits and 0.5 dB below the Grand Canyon National Park Standard, this being the strictest ruling in the world.
It benefits from all the latest technological advances in the Eurocopter new-generation helicopters. The EC130 B4 features the quiet Fenestron® tail rotor, state-of-the-art FADEC system (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) to reduce pilot workload by adjusting the engine to match flight conditions. The Starflex main rotor, the main gear box, and the engine (a Turbomeca Arriel 2B, which has a maximum take-off power of 847 shp) guarantee the helicopter's high performance level.
The EC130 B4 is currently operated in the tourism, EMS, police, passenger transport and utility markets around the world. The EC130 B4 profits from the proven experience of the Ecureuil (AS350) family offering users exceptional performance with straightforward maintainability and low operating costs.
About ECL and Eurocopter Group
Eurocopter Canada Limited is a subsidiary of Eurocopter. Eurocopter Canada – based in Fort Erie, Ontario – has a customer support network that spans the entire country. Eurocopter Canada celebrated 2009 as its 25th anniversary year. Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2009, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.6 billion Euros, orders for 344 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,500 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.