What follows is the official Eurocopter Canada press release. HeliHub.com first broke this story on 4th February, almost four months ago, see here.
In an official ceremony held at the Ontario Provincial Police Headquarters, Eurocopter Canada Limited (ECL) officially transferred two new generation twin-engine EC135 helicopters to the Ontario Provincial Police.
“The multi-role EC135 is an ideal aircraft for police operations.” said Mr. Guy Joannes, President and CEO. The EC135 is a combination of Eurocopter’s latest technologies, like the advanced cockpit design, modern avionics, the environmentally friendly shrouded Fenestron®, anti-torque-device and all-composite four-bladed hingeless and bearingless main rotor system, giving the helicopter outstanding maneuverability and superior handling qualities. Fully optimized main rotor blades with the advanced tip geometry in combination with the Fenestron® make the EC135 the quietest helicopter in its class.
For enhanced engine operations and safety, the aircraft is equipped with two Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)-equipped Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B2. The powerful, reliable turboshaft engines provided outstanding performance and vital reserves. The EC135 platform excels in one-engine inoperative scenarios. The EC135’s multi-purpose design allows for fast and easy maintenance and optimal reliability. “We are fully committed to supporting the OPP Aviation Services with these platforms.”
The cabin is ideally suited for law enforcement and provides both the crew and passengers with excellent visibility from the large spacious unobstructed cabin. The cabin and cargo compartments are complemented by a flat floor throughout the aircraft. Additionally the EC135 has outstanding accessibility from all sides: with two hinged cockpit doors, two wide sliding doors and two rear hinged clamshell doors.
Today there are over 880 EC135 helicopters operating around the world in 48 countries by over 255 customers and the aircraft have accumulated an impressive number of flying hours with over 1,900,000 to date. The EC135’s high endurance and extended range allow operators to meet any mission requirement; today 67% of the aircraft are operated in EMS, law enforcement roles, fire fighting, and light Search and Rescue.
Eurocopter Canada is well established in many key markets and is the market leader amongst law enforcement agencies with over 80% market share, the aircraft are operated by a growing number of municipalities and provinces. Prestigious customers include the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who currently operate a rotary wing fleet of 10 helicopters consisting exclusively of Eurocopter aircraft. The Ontario Provincial Police have been flying Eurocopter aircraft since 1991.
About ECL & Eurocopter Group
Eurocopter Canada Limited (www.eurocopter.ca) is a subsidiary of Eurocopter. Eurocopter Canada based in Fort Erie, Ontario, with operations in Richmond, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec – has a customer support network that spans the entire country. Eurocopter Canada celebrated 2009 as its 25th anniversary year. Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 17,500 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market with a turnover of 4.8 billion Euros, orders for 346 new helicopters and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the total worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 30 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. There are currently 11,200 Eurocopter helicopters in service and some 2,900 customers in 147 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.
The Ontario Provincial Police also put this statement out:
At a ceremony at Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) General Headquarters in Orillia today, Commissioner Chris Lewis accepted the delivery of two Eurocopter EC135 helicopters, which replace the OPP's aging fleet of Twin Star helicopters acquired in 1991.
The OPP has owned and operated two helicopters in its fleet since 1974 to support fulfilling of its provincial mandate which includes providing support for specialized teams, surveillance, drug eradication, searches, suspect apprehension pursuits and regional traffic and crime initiatives. Approximately 65 per cent of all OPP helicopter missions deal with search and rescue operations. The OPP helicopters are based in Orillia and Sudbury respectively.
Dignitaries from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS), Eurocopter Canada Ltd., and members of the public and media witnessed the official handover of the two Eurocopter EC135s and the retirement of the Twin Stars.
The EC135 is a light, multi-purpose twin turbine engine helicopter particularly suited to law enforcement purposes. Its lower noise rating, reduced maintenance needs and efficiency in terms of operational costs were some of the reasons the OPP chose this helicopter.
Over the past 20 years, OPP pilots have logged a combined total flying time of approximately 20-thousand hours (or about 106 trips around the world at the equator) on the retiring Twin Stars models.
"The officers of OPP Aviation Services play a critical role in combating crime and helping to keep our communities safe. It is important that we invest in the tools that help them to do their jobs effectively and efficiently." - Hon. Jim Bradley, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
"Whether for search and rescue operations or for surveillance or other law enforcement functions, the acquisition of these new helicopters will ensure that our pilots will continue to be prepared, ready and able to carry out their duties in the service of the people of Ontario in the best traditions of the Ontario Provincial Police." - Chris Lewis, Commissioner - OPP
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