American Eurocopter today announced Speedway Aviation in New Hampshire has placed the first U.S. based order for the new EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style helicopter, featuring an exclusive, special edition package like nothing seen before in the helicopter industry.
The aircraft is the result of a collaborative effort between Eurocopter, the world’s leading producer of corporate and VIP helicopters, and Mercedes Benz, the automotive group that sets global standards for luxury and style. This will be the third special edition EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style to be produced since its introduction in late 2010 and the first to be operated in the United States.
JBI Helicopters of New Hampshire will be managing the newest EC145 Mercedes Benz-Style helicopter for Speedway Aviation once it is delivered to its New England based owners in 2013. The client’s decision to purchase the EC145 was made after an exhaustive review of each of the twin-engine helicopters on the market.
“The Eurocopter product was selected because of its safety record, reliability, and supportability,” said Kurt West, vice president of JBI Helicopter Service. “The Mercedes-Benz Style package was the perfect complement to an already impressive product and the client sees the value in having the leaders in automotive interior design working with the helicopter experts.”
“It’s the perfect marriage of the safest, most reliable, helicopter in its class and a stylish finish created by Mercedes-Benz,” says American Eurocopter’s Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing, Treg Manning. “We are confident that our clients here in the U.S. will be impressed when they see this special edition EC145 and expect there will be an increasing demand for the aircraft, particularly since the package will also be available on the next generation EC145T2. Once that aircraft enters full production, we are sure to see the relationship with Mercedes-Benz continue for years to come.”
Created by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Division based in Como, Italy, the package is the most comprehensive available, featuring exquisite leather and wood appointments, an advanced in-flight entertainment system, ambient lighting, modular storage cabinets that can be easily reconfigured, and the choice of up to eight-place seating. The design team has also modified the external look of the EC145 to give it a distinguished appearance including a redesign of the front end, special shrouding for the skid gear, and a custom paint scheme.
The twin-engine EC145 has proven its worth in many roles, making it the obvious platform of choice for this exclusive package. It offers not only a very large and comfortable cabin area but also two rear doors that make it extremely easy to load luggage, sporting equipment or the spoils from shopping trips. With skid gear, the aircraft has greater flexibility for landing, including unprepared surfaces such as an open field near the hunting lodge or a grassy knoll at the golf course. With the EC145’s advanced auto-pilot system and avionics, the pilots can spend more time focusing on the environment outside of the aircraft thereby providing more safety for the passengers.
The search to find the best product led Mr. West to a number of locations on behalf of his client, including Donauwörth, Germany, where the Eurocopter production line for the commercial version of the EC145 is located; Stuttgart, Germany, for a look behind the curtain at the Mercedes-Benz headquarters; Como, Italy, to meet with the design team; and finally Grand Prairie, Texas, to visit the training academy and customer support management at American Eurocopter’s headquarters.
“Being able to witness firsthand the vast infrastructure and people standing behind this product was very important,” said West. “Our client demands only the best and we believe American Eurocopter will deliver just that.”
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. Company headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS.
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