Eurocopter’s long-term commitment to the Russian helicopter market will be highlighted at this month’s HeliRussia 2012 industry exhibition, in which the company is taking part for the fifth consecutive time since the event’s creation in 2008.
Organized May 17-19 at Moscow’s Crocus Expo international exhibition center, HeliRussia 2012 will feature the display of a Eurocopter EC135 flown by Russian operator ChelAvia, along with scale models of its EC175, AS350 B3 and EC155 rotorcraft.
“Eurocopter has been active in Russia for more than 15 years, underscoring the importance we place on being present where our helicopters respond to the requirements for capable, efficient and modern vertical lift,” explained Laurence Rigolini, the CEO of Eurocopter’s Russian-based subsidiary, Eurocopter Vostok.
One of Eurocopter’s leading Russian customers is UTair Aviation, which has been operating the company’s rotary-wing aircraft since 2006 and also runs an approved maintenance and training center at Tyumen for AS350 and AS355. Eurocopter helicopter types currently in UTair’s inventory are the 10 AS350B3/B3e, 2 AS355NP and 4 BO 105 which are used in missions ranging from VIP services, support of the oil/gas industry and pipeline patrols to cargo slim transportation, there are 10 more aircraft to be delivered in 2013. UTair also is a launching customer for the next-generation for 15 EC175 helicopters.
Another key Eurocopter client is Gazpromavia, the general air carrier of Russia’s Gazprom energy company. Gazpromavia’s fleet includes Eurocopter 1 EC120s and 8 EC135s equipped with Russian-built mission avionics from Transas Aviation – a first for Eurocopter rotary-wing aircraft. As part of Eurocopter’s local presence strategy, a maintenance center for its helicopters was created in Gazpromavia’s facility at Ostafievo international business airport near Moscow.
Also operating Eurocopter helicopters is the Moscow Aviation Center, which uses 3 EC145s for medical evacuation and emergency missions. The helicopters successfully reached more then 2000 flying hours. As the third largest Eurocopter customer in Russia, the Moscow Aviation Center relies on its rotary-wing aircraft for intensive operations in challenging conditions for life-saving flights.
The ChelAvia EC135 to be exhibited at HeliRussia 2012 is configured with a VIP interior and has been flown by the company since last year. As a helicopter of choice in the light, multi-purpose twin-engine category, the EC135 incorporates an advanced design and state-of-the-art technology. With its designed-in reliability, versatility, and low operating costs, the EC135 is used worldwide for such missions as off-shore transportation in the oil and gas industry, business and VIP airlift, law enforcement and training.
Shown on Eurocopter’s HeliRussia 2012 exhibit (booth #2F) is a scale model of the EC175 in UTair’s colors. Designed in cooperation with the most demanding operators, this medium-size twin-engine rotorcraft will deliver the highest safety standards for off-shore transport duties, search and rescue, medical airlift and other missions. Its technologies include unique flight envelope protection and pilot assistance with the most advanced 4-axis dual-duplex automatic flight control system – derived from Eurocopter’s EC225 helicopter – and highly intuitive new avionics and human machine interface. UTair will utilize its EC175s for offshore, oil and gas missions worldwide.
Also shown at HeliRussia 2012 in scale model form is Eurocopter’s AS350, known around the globe for unmatched performance and efficiency in hot and high elevation conditions. Its engine generates greater power, enabling the light single-engine helicopter to carry heavier and versatile payloads and to fly at a higher cruising speed in comparison with other similarly-sized machines. The enhanced AS350 B3e version features an improved interior design, along with tail rotor modifications for additional ease of piloting.
Completing the HeliRussia 2012 line-up is a scale version of Eurocopter’s EC155 – the company’s high-end, five-ton twin-engine helicopter. This multi-purpose rotorcraft features the latest technological and safety innovations, including a four-axis autopilot, glass cockpit with integrated flight and display system, and a five-blade Spheriflex main rotor. The aircraft has decreased vibration levels at very high cruise speeds, which ensures a smooth flight for passengers and crew. Three EC155s currently are in Russia for VIP transport, with two based at St. Petersburg and one in Moscow.
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