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Wednesday September 27, 2000 :

Large-Scale Order for Eurocopter Ė Eleven EC 135 for the Austrian ÖAMTC

Marignane, France ( Eurocopter Press Release ) - Eurocopter's EC 135 continues its market success, as proven by the Austrian Automobile Association's (÷AMTC) purchase of eleven light-twin helicopters for air rescue purposes. The EC 135 was selected as winner against strong competition from Europe and the US.

The EC 135 is a twin-engine light helicopter of the three tonne category with state-of-the-art construction and conception. It is the quietest helicopter of its type and particularly environmentally friendly due to its new, low emission engines. It is made for the most part from almost wear-free components; the design of a maintenance-free, "on condition" main rotor system is another important factor which clearly sets the EC 135 apart from the competition where life cycle cost is concerned.

Since its introduction on the market in 1996, over 200 EC 135 helicopters have been sold to 50 customers. It is certified in 17 countries. Numerous optional and special equipment kits for the EC 135 are also certified and in use. Ranging from the "avionique nouvelle" cockpit concept, through thermal imaging cameras, cargo hooks, floatation and rescue hoist equipment to special high skids, the customer can equip his helicopter for the most diverse of missions. The use of the EC 135 for police and air rescue has been particularly successful, but offshore services and VIP customers also like to fly with this elegantly designed helicopter.

At present, seven EC 135 helicopters are already in service with the ÷AMTC. Today's order makes the ÷AMTC the largest EC 135 operator world-wide. The order has been placed following the Austrian Ministry of Interior's authorisation of the ÷AMTC to operate its air rescue services. The ÷AMTC will take over the eight air rescue stations which have up to now been government maintained; the additional eleven EC 135 helicopters have been purchased to accomplish the growing number of tasks. With a total of 13 stations, the ÷AMTC will then have one of the most densely serviced air rescue networks in Europe. The first EC135 is to be delivered in December 2000; in early 2002 the fleet will have reached its full size. The equipment features amongst others the Eurocopter glass cockpit "avionique nouvelle", which is also designed to enable the use of night vision goggles, and the double cargo hook for rope recovery.

Eurocopter is a hundred percent subsidiary of EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company). EADS was formed in July 2000 following the merger of Dasa, Aerospatiale Matra and the Spanish company CASA and has thus become one of the three leading aerospace companies in the world.

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