Guimbal Helicopters president Bruno Guimbal announced at Heli-Expo that his company has 75 firm orders from 13 countries for his company’s Cabri G2 two-seat helicopter. Over 180 have now been sold since the first helicopter was launched into the market back in 2009.
Calculations reveal that the whole fleet has now logged over 50,000 flying hours with 90% of that being flown as training flights. “The fleet leader has 4,300 hours gained over four and a half years,” sated Guimbal. “There has been zero loss and zero injury; if we can succeed in training we can succeed in any market he said.
Noise levels have been an important target and the helicopter has been certified at 75.2 db.
The going has been difficult with many customers ordering just one to begin with. Heli Aviation in Germany had been the exception he said, as they eventually ordered a fleet of eight Cabris. The Helicentre in the UK, near Leicester, had been more cautious, initially only renting one helicopter. “Now they are 100% behind Cabri and have five with three more on order.
Other customers include Vietnam National Helicopters with a lot of bureaucracy to overcome, but they are now a loyal customer with great growth possibilities.
Guimbal said that he had received at least six firm prospects for a bigger four seat version of the Cabri – I have received stretched photos from customers showing what they want,” he added.
“The market is not so much price sensitive as trust sensitive,” concluded Guimbal. Direct operating costs are between $150-$200 per hour.
Andrew Drweiga – HeliHub.com
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