Eurocopter, February 12, 2012 - Dallas, Texas – At today’s launch of Eurocopter’s new EC130 T2 helicopter, American Eurocopter announced that Papillon Helicopters, one of the launch customers for the new line, has placed an order for 20 EC130 T2s. The order is for an initial six EC130 T2 helicopters, with an additional 14 options. Papillon’s fleet includes 19 EC130s and 10 AS350 B2s, and this order is part of an ongoing renewal of its Grand Canyon flightseeing fleet.
“The EC130 T2 continues Eurocopter’s stated goal to deliver a new product or technology to market each year. The object is not just to announce a new product, but to actually bring something to market which benefits our customers and their passengers,” stated Marc Paganini, American Eurocopter’s President and CEO. “Papillon’s selection of the EC130 T2 to upgrade its fleet highlights the technological and performance advancements in this model, as well as Eurocopter’s knowledge of its customer’s needs.”
The new-generation EC130 is a light single-engine helicopter with state-of-the-art technology and a roomy, modular cabin that seats six to seven passengers. The EC130 T2 features a more powerful 950 shp class ARRIEL 2D engine providing enhanced performance with improved fuel efficiency and increased max gross weight and CG range for additional useful load. The upgraded engine features an engine data recorder and will have a 6,000 hour mature TBO (Time Between Overhaul), which will help reduce operating and direct maintenance costs.
The EC130 T2 also includes several upgrades to increase passenger comfort, an active vibration control system for a more comfortable ride, an improved air conditioning system, an optional right-side cabin sliding door, and other cabin and interior improvements.
“Passenger safety and comfort have always been our top priorities. That’s why we selected the EC130 as the base of our flightseeing fleet, and that is why we chose the EC130 T2 as the aircraft to upgrade our fleet,” explains Lon Halvorson, Executive Vice President of Papillon Helicopters. “The EC130 T2 builds on the advantages of the EC130, plus it provides more power and comfort. It’s the logical choice.”
Founded in 1965, Papillon Airways, Inc. and Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines, since 1929, are the largest “flightseeing” companies in the world, with nearly 70 helicopters and airplanes revealing panoramic views beyond imagination. These companies are one of the few that fly the entire Grand Canyon, including the South and West rims, in addition to tours of Las Vegas, Lake Powell (Page, Arizona), Monument Valley, Utah, and Boulder City, Colorado.
Thanks to its great visibility, quietness, performance and safety, the EC130 helicopter line has become a key member of American Eurocopter’s AStar® family of helicopters and is particularly adapted to the needs of private users and air medical operations, as well as tourism and charter missions.
In June 2011, Papillon ordered five AS350 B3e helicopters with options for three more, as the company continues to expand its fleet and replace some of its older helicopters. The first of these delivered at the beginning of February, and the rest will deliver throughout 2012.
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS.