Metro Aviation has ordered an additional 12 new EC145e helicopters from Airbus, announced today at the Heli Expo trade show in Anaheim, California. This deal brings Metro Aviation’s total number of EC145e helicopters ordered to 43.
Metro Aviation operates air medical helicopters and airplanes for healthcare providers and is a global leader for multi-mission helicopter customizations. Metro was the first customer for the EC145e when Airbus Helicopters launched the simplified, lower weight variant in 2015. In 2019, Airbus Helicopters, Inc. delivered the first EC145e locally produced at its industrial facility in Columbus, Miss. USA, where the remaining EC145e aircraft for Metro will also be produced.
The first American-made aircraft was recently delivered to Metro’s newest operations customer, Duke Life Flight. Metro has several aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2020.
“This new order comes as evidence of the sustained popularity of the EC145e among many air medical providers in the U.S., mainly because of its 200-300lbs payload increase compared to the legacy EC145 C2,” said Mike Stanberry, president at Metro Aviation. “Its simplified configuration, flexible cabin, and the fact that this aircraft is proven, powerful, reliable and affordable explain why demand has been so high.”
The twin-engine EC145e was initially introduced for use with Visual Flight Rules (VFR), and Metro worked with Genesys Aerosystems and S-TEC of Mineral Wells, Texas to develop a FAA-approved avionics package that includes Supplemental Type Certificates for a Single Pilot/Dual Pilot Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) system; a VFR electronic flight instrument system (EFIS); and autopilot and stability augmentation system enhancements. A Transport Canada certification for the IFR package is pending.
“Airbus Helicopters has a longstanding relationship with Metro Aviation, who found a particular need within the industry and was able to fulfill those specific mission requirements with the EC145e,” said Romain Trapp, president of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and head of the North America region. “Airbus is pleased to support those offering new solutions in the industry, and we are especially proud to locally produce helicopters used for critical life-saving missions.”
Airbus Helicopters has been present in North America for 50 years and operates out of three main sites, including its Columbus facility where it produces the UH-72A Lakota helicopter – also a derivative of the EC145 – for the U.S. Army. Airbus also locally produces the best-selling H125 helicopter in Columbus, and performs as the bulk of its helicopter completions for the North American market.
Metro is currently operating the EC145e for Duke University, University of Utah, Vidant EastCare, West Michigan Air Care, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and GundersenAIR. An Airmedic EC145e is on display at Metro’s HELI-EXPO Booth, #3624. For more information, visit Metro’s booth or metroaviation.com/the-ec145e.
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