Eurocopter, May 19, 2005 - Handing over of the EC 145 at Eurocopter Group’s Donauwörth site completes the order of 32 helicopters operated by the French Sécurité Civile launch customer.
Today, the Helicopter Group of the French Sécurité Civile took delivery of its final EC145. The order covered a total of 32 helicopters, all of which now proudly bear the colors of the Sécurité Civile. In the factory’s delivery center, Mr. Philippe Breval (Program Manager, EC145 Commercial Helicopters) handed over the helicopter's documentation to Mr. Christian Gautié (Manager, Aeronautical Programs Department) and Mr. Jean Michel Rochelet (Technical Advisor, Head of the Airmobile Resources Group [GMA]). The fleet of EC145 twin-engine helicopters operated by Eurocopter’s French launching customer Sécurité Civile has chalked up approximately 23,000 flight hours since the delivery of the first aircraft in April 2002.
Since the first helicopters began entering service, a close cooperative effort has been established between Eurocopter, the Aeronautical Programs Department (SPAé) of the French Armament Procurement Agency, and the Sécurité Civile. For several months, engineers and technicians from Eurocopter and the government Flight Test Center (CEV) have provided assistance to the pilots, notably with the helicopter’s mountain tests. In fact, 26% of the emergency missions performed by the Sécurité Civile are mountain and high-mountain rescues. The Sécurité Civile also performs sea rescues, fire-fighting missions, patrol operations, and emergency medical transport.
Over the last three years, the EC145 has proved to be an excellent platform for such a wide range of missions: Its availability rate equals that of the aircraft from the former fleet, its cabin volume is four times greater than that of the Alouette III helicopters used up until now. Moreover, the EC145 can be used to perform flights in poor weather conditions, both day and night, which clearly offers a decisive advantage considering the Sécurité Civile’s operating environment. All 32 helicopters are equipped with loudspeakers, an emergency flotation system, and a hoist that can carry up to 270 kg. Some of the EC145s also have a searchlight.
Taking its latest technology into account, the EC145 will guarantee operational readiness on a long-term basis, as the teams from Eurocopter and the Sécurité Civile continuously work together to maintain the fleet of EC145 at the highest technical levels to ensure that their missions are performed with ever greater effectiveness.
The EC145 fleet throughout the world
At the end of 2004, some 62 EC145s were in service throughout the world, and had completed 39,000 flight hours. These helicopters are mainly operated in the EMS, Law Enforcement, Corporate and Offshore sectors. Meanwhile, the EC145 has successfully entered the EMS market in the U.S. and Mexico and also made its début in the South Pacific region. A total of 19 EC145s are planned to be delivered in 2005.
Eurocopter is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS. The worldwide leader in aerospace, defense, and the associated services, EADS generated a turnover of 31.8 billion euros in 2004, and employed approximately 110,000 people throughout the world. The EADS Group includes the aircraft maker Airbus, the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter, and the world’s second largest missile company, the joint venture MDBA. EADS is also the biggest partner in the Eurofighter consortium and the lead contractor for the Ariane launcher. The Group is also developing the A400M military transport aircraft, and is the major industrial partner for Galileo, the European satellite-based navigation system.