Today, Airbus Corporate Helicopters officially announces the ACH130 Aston Martin Edition in an event at Courchevel, France. The first helicopter of the company’s partnership with British automotive company Aston Martin Lagonda was shown privately to the press on 18th December in London, where HeliHub.com met with key executives from both organisations. The helicopter will shortly be shipped to the US in readiness for Heli-Expo at Anaheim at the end of this month.
The ACH130 Aston Martin Edition follows the helicopter manufacturer’s previous working relationship with French luxury brand Hermès on the EC135, and the continuing work on the H145 Mercedes-Benz edition with the German car manufacturer. The agreement between Airbus and Aston Martin is initially for three years and up to 15 helicopters.
Sitting in the first example helicopter – appropriately registered G-XAML – the automotive heritage to Aston Martin supercars is clearly evident with plenty of hand completed features, including the same brogue detailing found on the Aston Martin DB11 road car. Finished principally in their Oxford Tan leather, each headrest features the iconic Aston Martin wings badge has been synonymous with the brand since 1927, and today’s logo has hardly changed since 1932. The floor treatment is edged in leather, the door pockets are leather, and the seating has the same sumptuous feel as the road cars. The panel is covered in black alcantara to round off the whole effect.
It is clear that Aston Martin’s commitment to handcrafting and automotive art brings a new level of aesthetics and rigorous attention to detail to the helicopter market.
There will be four standard exterior colour schemes available. Edition number 001 which HeliHub.com was able to review features Aston Martin’s famous Sterling Green colour, fading down to Jet Black on the underside of the helicopter, with Skyfall Silver around the cowlings. The other three liveries are based on the Aston Martin paint colours of Xenon Grey, Arizona and Ultramarine Black.
Every ACH130 Aston Martin Edition helicopter will have a plaque on the instrument panel which shows the partnership logos, the registration of the aircraft, the edition number and the owner’s name, should they wish to have it included.
Due to the proximity of the Aston Martin facilities at Gaydon being only 36 miles north of Airbus Helicopters UK headquarters at Oxford Airport, every ACH130 Aston Martin Edition will be completed at Oxford, irrespective of where in the world the end customer is located.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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