Eurocopter South East Asia (ESEA) has recently signed a contract with the SSFC to retrofit two of their helicopters. Based in Vung Tau City, SSFC belongs to the Service Flight Corporation of Vietnam, a long standing partner of Eurocopter, and is a leading helicopter services provider in Vietnam. With a fleet primarily composed of Eurocopter helicopters– 4 Super Puma AS332 L2s, 2 EC155 Bs and 2 EC225s– the operator provides a wide range of services but specializes in giving support to the oil and gas industry, a booming market in Vietnam.
The two EC155 Bs, delivered in 2003, will now be retrofitted into EC155 B1s, proving the endurance, reliability and extraordinary performance of Eurocopter’s range. The scope of the upgrading work was devised after extensive discussion and full understanding of SSFC’s technical, operational and safety requirements. It will imply the embodiment of all necessary modifications to obtain a certified version of the EC155 B1, which will be the first-ever retrofit project from EC155 B to B1 worldwide. After the retrofit process, the aircraft will see their maximum take-off weight (MTOW) increased by 120 kg to 4,920 kg and will have 10% extra engine power thanks to their new twin Turbomeca Arriel 2C2 engines. Optimized to perform in high altitudes and hot conditions, these powerful engines are also fitted with Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) providing totally automated OEI safety. During the retrofit, the two aircraft will integrate Eurocopter’s latest technology and will be ready to fulfil the most exigent safety levels required by oil and gas companies.
Pursuing Eurocopter’s policy of accompanying its clients locally, the retrofit process will take place at ESEA’s new facility at Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore. ESEA will be the first subsidiary certified capable of undertaking such retrofit works. The conversion operation will take three months for each aircraft and the entire project is expected to be accomplished by July 2011. Vietnam is an emerging market and Eurocopter has approximately 50% market share in the civil and parapublic sectors.
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