Eurocopter’s new EC145 T2 helicopter, which was unveiled with fanfare today at Heli-Expo 2011, has attracted three U.S. operators as its launch customers: Metro Aviation, Lewis Energy Group and Leading Edge.
Metro Aviation signed for five of the rotary-wing aircraft to be used in emergency medical services (EMS), continuing the company’s nearly three-decade relationship with Eurocopter and American Eurocopter.
“This relationship includes our role as a launch customer for both the EC145 and EC135 – along with our company’s commitment to the continued development of EMS cabin interiors for these aircraft,” said Mike Stanberry, the president of Metro Aviation. “It is a natural progression for us to be involved with the new EC145 T2, which I am sure will be quite successful.”
For Lewis Energy Group, the new rotary-wing aircraft will build on its current operations with an EC145 and an EC135, which are used to support the company’s land-based oil and gas drilling business. “These are excellent-performing helicopters, and we look forward to receiving the new EC145 T2,” said Robert L. Cardin, the company’s director of flight operations.
The other U.S. customer is Leading Edge, which will use its EC145 T2 in business aviation service.
The EC145 T2 is an evolved version of the popular twin-engine EC145, incorporating new Arriel 2E engines, Eurocopter’s Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, ungraded main and tail rotor gear boxes, a new digital avionics suite and a 4-axis autopilot.
In addition to the U.S. customers announced at Heli-Expo 2011, also signing as an EC145 T2 launch customer is Spain’s INAER, which is to acquire 10 helicopters.
(Photo left to right ) American Eurocopter President & CEO Marc Paganini; Robert L. Cardin, the Director of Flight Operations for Lewis Energy Group; Metro Aviation President Mike Stanberry; and Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling.
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