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Introduction

Eurocopter Group was created in 1992 with the merger of the rotorcraft divisions of Aerospatiale (France) and Deutsche Aerospace (Germany). In January 2014, the company was rebranded Airbus Helicopters, opening a new chapter in its history.

Airbus History at a Glance

A Journey Back to Airbus’ Roots

 
For millennia, humanity gazed upwards and dreamt of taking to the skies and exploring the stars. But this remained simply a vision until the innovative spirit of the early aviators overcame all limits. Airbus, through its predecessor companies, has been at the heart of this quest, pioneering many of the technologies that helped us reach the skies and stars and are now part of everyday life. Developing aircraft that fly faster, further and more efficiently; exploring the distant reaches of space; and protecting our security here on earth. Discover Airbus’ place in the history of aerospace and defence and celebrate the outstanding female pioneers who helped shape the world of aviation.

our airbus Heritage

2015

An In-depth Review of Airbus Helicopters' History

 

H160 PT2
  • January 1, 2015: Airbus Helicopters’ products adopt new names. The letters EC are replaced by the letter H.

  • January 14, 2015: Airbus Helicopters fleet surpasses the 10 million flight hour milestone in service with the oil and gas sector.

  • January 15, 2015: Airbus Helicopters fleet surpasses the 10 million flight hour milestone in service with the oil and gas sector. The milestone marks a new achievement in the 50-plus year history of heli-lift duties performed by Airbus Helicopters’ product line. Operations began with the Alouette during the 1960s and continued with rotorcraft in the Super Puma, Dauphin and Ecureuil families. The reliable BO105 and Puma contributed, as did representatives from Airbus Helicopters’ EC135, EC145, and EC120 among others. Airbus Helicopters’ new-generation EC175 is also now a part of the oil and gas global fleet, as it began operations in the North Sea following the first delivery to NHV last December.

  • February 18, 2015: Airbus Helicopters selects X4 engine. The X4 program will therefore enter into the full-scale development with a new uprated Turbomeca ARRANO engine.

  • February 19, 2015: Airbus Helicopters opens new design office in Łódź, Poland to expand Research & Development activities.

  • February 19, 2015: Airbus Helicopters extends its research & development capabilities in Europe by opening a new design office in Łódź, Poland. This new Airbus Helicopters Polska facility is to be assigned a wide variety of mechanical design activities, with a focus on future breakthrough technologies in such areas as rotorcraft drive systems and equipment. Design work in the office will cover military and commercial helicopters, new-design platforms, and modernization of existing rotorcraft types.

  • March 3, 2015: Airbus Helicopters unveils the new H160.
  • Airbus Helicopters
  • March 3, 2015: The X4 is unveiled on Airbus Helicopters’ Heli-Expo booth in the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. Incorporating Airbus Helicopters’ expertise in aerodynamics, rotor blade design and avionics, the twin-engine X4 is an all-new medium-sized aircraft capable of a full range of civil and parapublic missions.

  • March 5, 2015: Airbus Helicopters announced the new “H” designations across its product lines, symbolic of the company’s full integration in the Airbus Group and consistent with the numbering used by the Airbus commercial jetliner manufacturer. The “H” is not just for its product line: Airbus Helicopters rolled out its HCare Customer Service offer.

  • March 6, 2015: Airbus Helicopters launches the HCare services offer.

  • March 16, 2015: Airbus Helicopters selected for the partnership development of South Korea’s Light Civil and Light Armed Helicopters. Airbus Helicopters will join with Korea Aerospace Industries in developing two 5-ton class rotorcraft that meet South Korea’s requirements for its next-generation Light Civil Helicopter (LCH) and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH).
  • March 25, 2015: Airbus Group delivered to the U.S. Army the first UH-72A Lakota helicopter to come off the Airbus Helicopters Inc. production line configured for the Lakota’s latest mission, as the service’s initial-entry training helicopter.
  • Airbus Helicopter
  • April 21, 2015: Airbus Helicopters and its partner Heli Invest Services welcome the decision of the Polish Ministry of Defence to pre-select the H225M Caracal from Airbus Helicopters.
  • Airbus Helicopters
  • May 15, 2015: Airbus Helicopters’ militarized H145M receives its on-time EASA certification.
  • Airbus Helicopters
  • June 13, 2015: First flight of the H160 in Marignane (France). The flight test campaign has been launched and the next flights began to open the flight envelope progressively. The aircraft reached 130 kts during the second flight.
  • June 16, 2015: Airbus Helicopters launches X6 concept phase, setting the standard for the future in heavy-lift rotorcraft. X6 will initially target oil and gas missions and will also be perfectly suited for Search and Rescue, VIP and other applications.

  • June 17, 2015: Officially launched at the Paris Air Show, the H Pilot Club will create a dialog among the flight crews, mechanics and customers who own and operate Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft, while also providing opportunities for meetings to network within the industry, share best practices and get more insight into Airbus Helicopters.

  • June 19, 2015: Switzerland’s Air Zermatt receives the first Airbus Helicopters H130 configured for aerial work.

  • June 23, 2015: Airbus Helicopters opens new Training Academy in Donauwörth.
  • Airbus Helicopters
  • July 6, 2015: Eco-friendly and eco-efficient technologies of tomorrow take to the sky with Airbus Helicopters’ Bluecopter demonstrator. In the more than 28 flight hours logged during evaluations performed throughout its operating envelope, Bluecopter has confirmed the feasibility of Airbus Helicopters’ advancements in eco-friendly helicopter design while also proving the company’s next-generation eco-efficient technologies.
  • September 9, 2015: CM International Financial Leasing Corp., Ltd. (CMIFL) is to acquire 100 Airbus Helicopters Ecureuil-series rotorcraft over five years, with the initial order of 10 units to be delivered in 2016. CMIFL plans to offer these light single-engine helicopters to operators complete with financing solutions, paving the way for easier and faster development of China’s burgeoning general aviation sector.
  • October 19, 2015: German State Police of Baden-Württemberg receive the world’s first H145 in law enforcement configuration. The aircraft is the first of an order of six to be handed over to the launch customer.

  • October 30, 2015: A Letter of Intent (LOI) for the establishment of a final assembly line (FAL) of Airbus Helicopters’ H135 in China was signed by Yao Yixian, the Sino-German Ecopark Deputy General Manager and Wolfgang Schoder, Airbus Helicopters Deutschland CEO in Hefei, Anhui Province. This LOI also includes a commitment by the Chinese party for 100 H135s to be assembled in the future FAL in China over the next 10 years.

  • November 4, 2015: Airbus Helicopters and Korea Aerospace Industries affirm partnership for export and support of Korean helicopter platforms: Korean-made Light Civil Helicopter and Light Armed Helicopter to be marketed worldwide.

  • November 6, 2015: Airbus Helicopters has successfully completed the first flight test of the high-compression engine demonstrator aircraft at Marignane Airport. The development and flight test of this new technology demonstrator is part of the European Clean Sky initiative’s Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator (ITD) program, with support for these flight tests provided by the consortium of TEOS Powertrain Engineering and Austro Engine GmbH.

  • November 10, 2015: Airbus Helicopters starts flight tests with high-compression engine as part of the European Clean Sky initiative.
  • Airbus Helicopters
  • November 17, 2015: Airbus Helicopters Industries in Brasov, Romania officially launches and will assemble the new H215 (former AS332 C1e/L1e).
  • December 22, 2015: The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) has ordered seven additional Tiger HAD attack helicopters, bringing to 67 the total number of Tigers that will eventually be operated by the French Army Aviation. The additional Tigers will be delivered in 2017-2018. The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) has ordered six additional NH90-TTH bringing to 74 the total number of NH90 by the French Army Aviation.
  • 2014

    Airbus Helicopters sign

    • January 1, 2014: Eurocopter becomes Airbus Helicopters. The rebranding marks a new era in the history of the company as it joins Airbus and Airbus Defense & Space within the new Airbus Group.

    Airbus Helicopters, EC175
  • January 27, 2014: The EC175 is certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

  • February 27, 2014: The new EC225e version of Airbus Helicopters’ workhorse Super Puma product line is formally launched during Heli-Expo airshow, offering an enhanced rotorcraft.

  • February 28, 2014: The latest member of the Super Puma family is unveiled: the multi-mission AS332 C1e utility workhorse version.

  • March 25, 2014: Airbus Helicopters and China’s Avicopter sign joint production agreement for 1,000 EC175/AC352 helicopters.

  • April 14, 2014: Airbus Helicopters launches Japan’s first helicopter full flight simulator, the EC135 P2+.

  • April 17, 2014: The newest member of Airbus Helicopters’ proven EC145 rotorcraft family – the EC145 T2 – is certified by EASA. Enhancements incorporated in the T2 version of the 4-metric-ton category EC145 include new Arriel 2E engines and the company’s signature Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, along with upgraded main and new tail rotor gear boxes, and an advanced cockpit that uses Airbus Helicopter’s innovative Helionix digital avionics suite with 4-axis autopilot.

  • Airbus, Helicopters, UH-72A
  • May 15, 2014: Airbus Group delivers 300th on-time, on-budget UH-72A Lakota helicopter to U.S. Army. The Lakota is manufactured at the company's Airbus Helicopters, Inc. facility in Columbus, Miss., Since the UH-72A contract was competitively awarded in 2006, the company has delivered the Lakota in seven different configurations for missions including training, border security, search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, VIP transport and range support. Several aircraft are also in service with the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, which trains Navy, Marine Corps and Army test pilots.elicopter to U.S. Army.

  • BO105
  • May 21, 2014: The BO105 clocks up 8 million flight hours, demonstrating the reliable service of this aircraft worldwide over 40 years.
  • Airbus Helicopters, X3
  • June 17, 2014: The first “built-in-Brazil” EC725 is provided to the Brazilian Navy.

  • June 19, 2014: Airbus Helicopters’ X3 entered the French national Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Air and Space Museum) of Paris-Le Bourget.
  • TTH
  • June 24, 2014: The 200th NH90, a TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter), was delivered by NHIndustries to Belgian Defence. The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries , the Company owned by AgustaWestland (32%), Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), and Fokker (5.5%).

  • June 25, 2014: The 200th NH90, a TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter), was delivered by NHIndustries to Belgian Defence.

  • July 7, 2014: The EC175 Level D full-flight simulator receives airworthiness certification from EASA and enters service.

  • July 31, 2014: The delivery of the first EC145 T2 is made to German operator DRF Luftrettung.

  • EASA
  • October 21, 2014: EASA certifies the new EC135 T3, completing a new chapter in the EC135’s history. The EC135 T3/P3 offers more than 200 kg of additional payload in hot & high conditions. Compared to the previous version this helicopter performs better at sea level, allowing up to 70 kg more payload for single engine/CAT performances. Notable technical improvements in the EC135 T3/P3 include a larger main rotor for more lift, and lateral air inlets for greater efficiency. The new FADEC software provides optimized engine control and the cockpit features the fully integrated navigation, communication and GPS avionics solution GTN 750 from Garmin.
  • November 27, 2014: The new lightweight military multi-role helicopter, the EC645 T2, completes its first flight. The EC645 T2 is the military version of the civil EC145 T2. With a maximum takeoff weight of 3.7 tons, the EC645 T2 can be used for a wide range of military operations including transportation, reconnaissance, search and rescue, fire support, and evacuations of wounded personnel.
  • Airbus Helicopters
  • December 2, 2014: Airbus Helicopters Training Services completes the instruction of its 50,000th trainee.

  • December 9, 2014: The EC135 T3/P3 enters service with Italian operator Aiut Alpin Dolomites in high-altitude rescue operations.

  • December 10, 2014: Airbus Helicopters works with operators to develop industry’s first Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) for EC225s used for oil & gas missions.
  •  EC175
  • December 11, 2014: A double-handover ceremony marks first deliveries of the EC175 to NHV for oil and gas missions. NHV will begin EC175 service this month from the Dutch North Sea base of Den Helder.
  • 2013


    • January 23, 2013: The first NH90 to be assembled by Eurocopter España at its facility in Albacete takes flight.

    • February, 14, 2013: Eurocopter grows in Mexico with the inauguration of a production center for high-technology aircraft components.
    Airbus, Helicopters
  • March 5, 2013: Eurocopter launches the EC135 T3/P3 members of its enhanced helicopter family with orders from the U.S., Norway and Italy.
  • Eurocopter Corporate
  • March 12, 2013: EADS appoints Guillaume Faury new CEO of Eurocopter as Lutz Bertling departs the Group.

  • April 18, 2013: The Eurocopter Corporate Foundation takes flight. The new philanthropic organization will support humanitarian causes and help the needy.
  • Airbus, Helicopters
  • April 25, 2013: Eurocopter completes unmanned EC145 demonstration flights, validating ability to integrate unmanned flight capabilities into its helicopter family.
  • X3
  • May 14, 2013: Eurocopter opens its new Systemhaus helicopter development center at Donauwörth, Germany.

  • June 11, 2013: Eurocopter's X3 hybrid helicopter makes aviation history in achieving a speed milestone of 255 knots during level flight.
  • Airbus Helicopters
  • June 13, 2013: Helisim celebrates the 100,000th hour milestone for flight simulator sessions with international customers.

  • June 20, 2013: Eurocopter breaks ground for new Paris-Le Bourget industrial site.
  • Airbus,  EC155
  • July 15, 2013: Eurocopter has successfully demonstrated new landing procedures relying on augmented satellite guidance that can be tailored to more completely comply with the local environmental requirements.
    These new landing procedures were validated with a twin-engine Eurocopter EC155 during flight tests performed as part of the company’s participation in the Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator program – which is part of Europe’s Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative.

  • September 11, 2013: Improved safety in poor visibility conditions is an advantage that pilots in Donauwörth (Germany) are now able to enjoy. The onsite helicopter landing pad is the first helipad in Europe to make use of Localizer Performance with Vertical (LPV) guidance, a highly precise, GPS-supported instrument approach procedure.

  • September 12, 2013: Donauwörth offers first Helipad in Europe with improved safety landing conditions.

  • September 23, 2013: It is announced that in 2014, the Airbus Helicopters plant in Columbus, Mississippi will be upgraded to a final assembly and test site for Eurocopter AS350 helicopters.

  • November 6, 2013: Airbus Helicopters' X3 hybrid helicopter makes aviation history achieving a speed record of 255 knots during level flight.

  • EC145 T2
    December 11, 2013: Eurocopter launches the law enforcement version of its EC145 T2 helicopter with an order from Germany’s Baden Württemberg police.

    2012


    • January 1, 2012: Eurocopter celebrates its 20 years.

    • January 12, 2012: The first enhanced AS350 B3e helicopters is delivered by Eurocopter Vostok to Russian operator, UTair Aviation.

  • January 16, 2012: Eurocopter recognized the German Federal Police for reaching the 100,000 total flight hour mark with its EC135 fleet, which performs thousands of operations annually across Germany for law enforcement, home security and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services missions.

  • February 12, 2012: Eurocopter unveils its new EC130 T2 with optimized performance, comfort and mission diversity. Seven launch customers order 105 helicopters. New and updated features on the helicopter include the use of a more powerful Arriel 2D turboshaft engine and upgraded main gearbox; the incorporation of an active vibration control system; improved air ventilation, distribution and demisting systems; a cabin interior structure redesign with a full flat floor; a cockpit update for enhanced man-machine interface; new energy-absorbing seats that improve weight and balance for passenger loading; integration of a crashworthy fuel tank; and increased maintenance accessibility for electrical and air conditioning systems.

  • March 1, 2012: EADS North America delivers 200th UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter to U.S. Army. The 200th Lakota helicopter is the first production aircraft to be delivered with the new Security and Support (S&S) Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP). Lakotas are produced at the company’s American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss., which is the same facility where the initial S&S Battalion Lakotas were retrofitted. The UH-72A is a Defense Acquisition Category (ACAT) I major defense acquisition program for the U.S. Defense Department, and it marked one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the U.S. Army’s history. Deliveries of the aircraft to National Guard units allow aging OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired, while UH-72As assigned to the active component of the U.S. Army replace UH-60 Black Hawks.

  • March 5, 2012: The team behind the X3 hybrid demonstrator aircraft receives innovation award from the American Helicopter Society International.
  • April 17, 2012: Eurocopter targets next phase of growth in Japan through business consolidation and relocation to expanded facility in Kobe Airport. The opening of the brand new facility is significant on two fronts – it marks the 50-year relationship that Eurocopter has with Japan when the Alouette II helicopter first plied the skies of Japan and the industrial co-operations that have been fostered through the years; and secondly, an official merger of two business entities to form the new Eurocopter Japan, as the full-fledged Eurocopter subsidiary embarks on its next phase of growth.

  • April 27, 2012: The 500th EC145 helicopter is delivered to Mexican operator Transportes Aereos Pegaso.

  • May 3, 2012: Eurocopter’s X3 Development Team wins Howard Hughes Award for Outstanding Improvement in Helicopter Technology. Presented at AHS’ 68th Annual Forum in Fort Worth, Texas, the society’s prestigious Howard Hughes award acknowledged Eurocopter’s successful validation of its helicopter hybrid concept, which uses two turboshaft engines to power a main rotor along with two propellers installed on the tip of short-span fixed wings. The result is an advanced, cost effective, VTOL transportation system offering the speed of a turboprop-powered aircraft and the full flight capabilities of a helicopter.
  • May 23, 2012: : Eurocopter delivers the first Airbus A350 XWB jetliner passenger door, highlighting its innovative capabilities in composite technology. As prime contractor and system supplier, Eurocopter is providing a full set of door systems that will equip this latest wide-body member of Airbus’ jetliner family.
  • June 20, 2012: Eurocopter began the U.S. tour of its X3 high-speed hybrid helicopter, which will demonstrate the unique operational capabilities of this advanced transportation system during a month of visits to military facilities and hub locations for civil helicopter operators. The tour was initiated with a debut X3 flight presentation at the Grand Prairie, Texas headquarters of Eurocopter’s U.S. subsidiary – American Eurocopter – which was attended by employees, elected officials, customers and industry partners.
  • September 12, 2012: Eurocopter hands over the first upgraded CH-53GA transport helicopter to Germany's armed forces. The CH-53GA is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and communications systems, which also are approved for use alongside the Tiger support helicopter and NH90 transport helicopter. Additionally, pilots will now be able to make use of a four-axis autopilot with auto-hover automatic flight control system, as well as an up-to-date electronic warfare system for threat recognition and electronic self-protection. In another enhancement, navigational accuracy is brought up to international instrument flight rules (IFR) standards, with the upgrade extending to display and control functions – which are now contained in a glass cockpit with five multi-function displays.

  • September 12, 2012: Four Tigers delivered for deployment to Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Stabilization German Army Rapid Deployment (ASGARD) program of modifications for the Tiger Support Helicopter was agreed by Eurocopter and the Federal Ministry of Defence at the end of 2011 and includes a sand filter, additional defense weaponry, a mission data recorder and enhanced communications equipment for multinational missions.

  • September 12, 2012: Eurocopter hands over its first Puma Mk2 aircraft to the UK Ministry of Defence. Enhancements for the Puma Mk2 include major performance and safety improvements with the use of new Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines; the integration of a full glass cockpit incorporating modern avionics and a flight management system; the implementation of a digital automatic flight control system; as well as the incorporation of a secure communications suite, new defensive aids and ballistic protection for crew and passengers. Additionally, the helicopter’s greater onboard fuel capacity and lower fuel consumption will increase the Puma Mk2’s operating range. The Puma will be able to carry twice the payload over three times the range than its predecessor even in the most demanding of environmental conditions.

  • September 12, 2012: Eurocopter signs up for leadership in a European compound rotorcraft demonstration project through the proposed Clean Sky 2 initiative. This new activity will be conducted in the framework of Europe’s proposed Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative (JTI), intended as an extension of the current Clean Sky JTI involving the European Commission and the European aviation industry to bring significant step changes in aviation’s environmental impact. In working towards the targets of Europe’s “Flightpath 2050” aviation vision – along with goals of the new ACARE Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, while also meeting Europe’s broader societal challenges such as citizen mobility – the industry and the European Union would jointly invest a total of €3.6 billion over seven years on transport research in the framework of Clean Sky 2.

  • October 3, 2012: American Eurocopter delivers first EC130 T2 to Maverick Aviation Group.

  • November 8, 2012: STARLITE Aviation Group becomes the launching customer of Eurocopter's new Super Puma AS332 C1e. The AS332 C1e is a new version of Eurocopter’s Super Puma helicopter that includes a specific configuration offering shorter lead times and highly competitive operational and maintenance costs.

  • November 9, 2012: Airbus Helicopters’ X3 technology demonstrator takes the spotlight at ILA Berlin and participates in daily flight demos.

  • December 5, 2012: Eurocopter has conducted the first flight of its no. 1 series-production EC175.

  • December 21, 2012: Eurocopter achieved a new milestone in its NH90 program with two ceremonies during which the manufacturer delivered Belgium’s first NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH); along with the French DGA defense procurement agency’s first NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH), in its naval Step B version, to be used by the French Navy.

  • 2011


    • February 1, 2011: Eurocopter officially inaugurated its new North Sea Service Centre in Aberdeen, Scotland, providing a highly capable training, technical support and logistics facility in close proximity to helicopter operators who support the region’s vital oil and gas industry – as well as the emerging wind farm sector. A focal point of the North Sea Service Centre is its new EC225 helicopter full-flight simulator, which underscores Eurocopter’s commitment to investing in solutions that support its customers’ businesses. It also demonstrates the company’s dedication to enhancing flight safety and reducing operators’ costs.

    Jean Boulet
  • February 15, 2011: Jean Boulet passed away at the age of 90. First hired in 1947 by the SNCASE, which would later become Sud Aviation and then the Helicopter division of the Aerospatiale Group, Jean Boulet was one of the greatest pioneers in the history of rotorcraft flight testing… Just a few highlights from his illustrious career include the first flights of the SE3000, the SE3101, the Alouette, Frelon, Puma, Gazelle families and the Lama. The records he established are no less impressive. Jean Boulet would set 17 world records during his career, including the record for the highest altitude. Behind the controls of a Lama, Jean Boulet reached an altitude of 12,442 meters on June 21, 1972. His record still stands today. Jean Boulet received the prestigious "X Supaéro" engineering degree from the French aeronautics institute in Toulouse, and chalked up more than 9,000 flight hours during the course of his career, including over 8,000 in helicopters. The courageous pilot was well known for his love of flying and derring-do, but was also widely respected for his modesty and unassuming nature.
  •  EC145 T2 Helicopters
  • March 6, 2011: The newest member of Eurocopter’s helicopter family was formally launched with the unveiling of its EC145 T2 – an evolved version of the popular twin-engine EC145 that incorporates new Arriel 2E engines, along with the company’s Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, upgraded main and tail rotor gear boxes, an innovative new digital avionics suite and a 4-axis autopilot.

  • April 19, 2011: Eurocopter delivers the milestone 1,000th Dauphin helicopter to India's Pawan Hans Helicopters. Pawan Hans’ milestone helicopter is an AS365 N3 version, configured for offshore oil and gas drilling missions, and it brings the Indian operator’s fleet to a total of 35 Dauphins.
  • May 9, 2011: Systemhaus project breaks ground... Eurocopter breaks ground for its new high-tech integrated development center in Donauwörth, Germany. Development activities that currently are located at Eurocopter’s Ottobrunn site will be integrated into the new building complex, which will have a surface area of 30,000 square meters and is to be situated adjacent to the plant’s existing assembly facilities. Furthermore, it offers the opportunity to concentrate activities that today are divided between different locations both in Donauwörth and in Ottobrunn. Some 900 Eurocopter employees will move into this future-oriented innovative development center.
  • X3
  • May 12, 2011: The Eurocopter X3 hybrid helicopter exceeds its speed challenge: 232 knots (430 km/h) is attained in level, stabilized flight. The X3 utilizes a Eurocopter Dauphin helicopter airframe equipped with two turboshaft engines that power a five-blade main rotor system and two propellers which are installed on short-span fixed wings. This hybrid configuration creates an advanced transportation system offering the speed of a turboprop-powered aircraft and the full hover flight capabilities of a helicopter.

  • July 12, 2011: Delivery of the 100th EC225 to Bristow Group.

  • July 20, 2011: Eurocopter officially hands over its 1,000th EC135 helicopter to the ADAC. The ADAC air rescue service, which has clocked up over 95,000 flight hours with its fleet of meanwhile 32 EC135s, is entirely satisfied with its performance.
  • Mexican, Querétaro, Aerotech Park
  • October 25, 2011: Eurocopter begins construction of a new industrial facility in the Mexican state of Querétaro for production of aerostructures and components. This industrial facility – situated within the Aerotech Park adjacent to Querétaro International Airport – will be dedicated to the production and assembly of helicopter and aircraft components, such as tail booms, vertical stabilizers and doors. The facility will include a workshop area for cutting, milling, pressing, surface treatment and the assembly of single parts and sub-assemblies, as well as a new benchmark helicopter maintenance center for Eurocopter.
  • Australia, Aerospace
  • December 1, 2011: Australian Aerospace delivers final Tiger to Defence. Acquired under Project Air 87, the Tiger replaces Defence's existing rotary-wing force comprising Bell 206B-1 (Kiowa) reconnaissance and UH1-H (Iroquois) gunship helicopters. The Tigers have been deployed with the Army's 1st Aviation Regiment in Darwin, the Army Aviation Training Centre at Oakey in Queensland and at RAAF Edinburgh, in South Australia.
  • 2010

    Airbus Helicopters, EADS
  • March 4, 2010: Delivery of the 100th UH-72A Lakota to the U.S. Army. On 30 June 2006, the US Army selected the UH-72A helicopter (a version of the EC145) for the LUH (Light Utility Helicopter) program. The U.S. Army plans to acquire 345 Lakotas through 2016, and the service has ordered 182 of the helicopters so far, along with five H-72A versions for the U.S. Navy. Aircraft already delivered to the Army are used in missions that include medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), search and rescue, drug interdiction, VIP transport and support. The Navy’s five H-72A versions are utilized by the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., for the training of test pilots from the U.S. military and allied countries.

  • March 10, 2010: Prototype no. 1 of the Surion (KUH) performs its first flight and a GTV (Ground Test Vehicle) will be delivered to South Korea in early April. The Korean Helicopter Program (KHP) was launched by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) to develop the KUH (Surion), a medium-sized military transport helicopter. KAI is directing the program, while Eurocopter is supplying technical support for the helicopter’s development and manufacturing certain subassemblies (i.e. automatic pilots, gearboxes, rotor shafts, etc.).

  • March 19, 2010: The cornerstone is laid for the EC725 assembly line in Brazil. The new 11,000-square-meter facility will accommodate areas for the EC725 assembly line and manufacturing areas, administrative offices, along with a design office for customization, production support and program management. On 23 December 2008, following a joint declaration on defense cooperation signed by the French and Brazilian defense secretaries on June 30, 2008, the Brazilian government signed a contract for 50 EC725s with a consortium formed by Eurocopter and Helibras. These EC725s will be operated by three Brazilian armed forces: The troop transport version aircraft by the army, the combat search and rescue version aircraft by the air force and the naval version aircraft by the navy.
  • EC145
  • May, 2010: The “Mercedes-Benz Style” EC145 is unveiled at the EBACE air show in Geneva. Three cabin layouts are offered, with seats for 8, 6 or 4 passengers. In each case, customers have a wide choice of materials and colors for walls, floors, ceilings and seats, as well as three basic external paint colors.
  • EC135; Airbus Helicopters
  • June 10, 2010: Delivery of the 900th EC135 to the Bavarian Police. The EC135 made its first flight on 15 February 1994. It was the first helicopter in the Eurocopter range, based on the technology demonstrator BO108. The most important addition to the EC135 is its Fenestron tail rotor. It is also equipped with a bearingless main rotor.

  • June 25, 2010: The new generation EC145 T2 performed its first flight. The EC145 T2 was developed based on a proven concept, allowing it to benefit from the many advantages offered by the EC145: an impressive payload, a long range, a spacious, multipurpose cabin with rear and side access. Flight safety is also ensured by a standard 4-axes autopilot and modern avionics. The dual AFCS significantly reduces the pilot’s workload, particularly in difficult weather or mission conditions. The AFCS is coupled with a satellite navigation system (WAAS/EGNOS), allowing the helicopter to perform high-precision landings in complete safety in any location. Another major innovation is the tailboom featuring the Fenestron tail rotor.
  • Eurocopter
  • September 6, 2010: First flight of the demonstrator for the X3, a high-speed hybrid helicopter. Eurocopter has developed the H3 concept (High-speed, long-range, Hybrid Helicopter), a new type of aircraft that can perform vertical takeoffs and landings and obtain cruising speeds of approximately 220 kts. The aircraft will offer the efficiency of a turboprop engine and the excellent hover flight capabilities of a helicopter. In addition to high speeds, the H3 project is also focusing on the overall cost of the machine, which must remain affordable. This concept not only saves mission time but also reduces mission costs: The productivity gain associated with the increase in speed is greater than the purchase, maintenance and ongoing costs of using the aircraft. In other words, the cost per transported passenger is reduced when the increase in productivity outweighs the increase in the machine’s overall cost. The expected increase in productivity–approximately 50%– far exceeds the increased costs for the aircraft, which must remain below 25%. The X3 is the technology demonstrator for this new concept.
  •  EC175
  • December 17, 2010: First flight of the EC175 second prototype, of the first NH90s in the TTH version for France and Spain, and of the first pre-serial Tiger HAD (fire support and destruction) for France.
    EC175 is a joint program of Eurocopter and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). This latest EC175 prototype is configured for oil and gas industry transportation operations, and includes noticeably emergency flotation gear, external life rafts, a full set of radio navigation equipment, HTAWS functionalities, HUMS, a cargo sling and hoist, along with a high-performance air conditioning system.
    As a basis configured for day and night tactical transport operations in all environments, the French NH90 TTH is an 11-metric ton helicopter tailored for missions that include search and rescue, personnel recovery and casualty evacuation. The NH90 TTH will progressively replace the French Army Aviation’s (ALAT) legacy fleet of Puma and Super Puma helicopters in their primary roles.
    A multidisciplinary team from Eurocopter España contributed to this Spanish NH90 program milestone, which involved the first NH90 equipped with GE CT7-8F5 engines.
    The Tiger HAD has a maximum takeoff weight of 6.6 metric tons, a more powerful MTR390 engine, an upgraded optical sighting system, an identification friend or foe (IFF) interrogator, improved ballistic protection and a new electronic warfare system.
  • 2009


    • April 1, 2009: Eurocopter in Japan merges with the Group’s local distributor, increasing Eurocopter’s share in the company to 90%.
  • June 17, 2009: Delivery of the 900th Dauphin, which is also the 100th EC155. The twin-engine SA365 C Dauphin equipped with two 650 hp Arriel engines made its first flight on 23rd January 1975. The EC155, an upgraded version of the Dauphin, provides 40% more cabin space, made its first flight on 17 June 1997.
  • TIGER HAD
  • June 30, 2009: The Tiger HAD version, equipped with two MTR390 “Enhanced” engines providing a takeoff rating with 14% more power, performs its first flight. The HAD version of the Tiger is increasing its multirole capabilities—and increasing its power as well, with the installation of the MTR390 “Enhanced” (MTR390-E) engine. Developed specifically for the Tiger by the MTRI consortium, the MTR390-E offers a takeoff rating with 14% more power compared with the MTR390-2C currently installed on the Tiger HAP, UHT and ARH helicopters. The new engines will also boost the helicopter’s maximum takeoff weight to 6.6 metric tons.
  • July 10, 2009: As part of the Korean Helicopter Program (KHP), the Dynamic Test Vehicle (DTV) performs its first flight in Marignane. It was the completed vehicle, with its General Electric engines, cowlings manufactured by KAI and its Eurocopter dynamic components. The Korean Helicopter Program (KHP) was launched by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) to develop the KUH, a medium-sized military transport helicopter. KAI is directing the program, while Eurocopter is supplying technical support for the helicopter’s development and manufacturing certain subassemblies (i.e. automatic pilots, gearboxes, rotor shafts, etc.).
  • NH90
  • July 31, 2009: First prototype for the Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH) program is rolled out in South Korea. The Korean President Lee Myung-bak personally attended the rollout.

  • September 18, 2009: “Step A” qualification is obtained for the naval version of the NH90 for the Netherlands.

  • November 17, 2009: “Step A” qualification is obtained for the naval version of the NH90 for France.

  • December 4, 2009: The EC175 performs its first flight.

  • December 17, 2009: The EC175 performs its official maiden flight in Marignane in the presence of many guests: customers, partners, suppliers, journalists and Eurocopter employees.

  • EC175
  • December 4, 2009: The EC175 performs its first flight.

  • December 17, 2009: The EC175 performs its official maiden flight in Marignane in the presence of many guests: customers, partners, suppliers, journalists and Eurocopter employees.

  • EC175
  • December 17, 2009: The EC175 performs its official maiden flight in Marignane in the presence of many guests: customers, partners, suppliers, journalists and Eurocopter employees.

  • 2008

    Airbus Helicopters Indonesia

    • January 30, 2008: The EC225 received its type certification from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). The harmonized certification procedures between Europe and the United States allowed the FAA to use the work already performed by EASA to speed up its approval process. However, specific points were nevertheless validated by teams from the FAA itself. These teams visited Marignane three times in 2006 and 2007 to assess the helicopter on the ground and in flight.

  • February 6, 2008: Eurocopter, one of the founding members of the Clean Sky initiative, welcomes the launch of the Clean Sky Program. The objective of this major pan-European research program is to make air travel more sustainable by encouraging aeronautics manufacturers to develop and produce greener products.
  • Airbus, Helicopters
  • February 24-26, 2008: Eurocopter unveils the EC175 at Heli-Expo 2008: 111 purchase options are signed. Eurocopter is now introducing its 16-passenger civil product to the market. The development of the EC175, a joint program with China, was starting from the contract signature on December 5, 2005.

  • March 11, 2008: The first NH90 is delivered to the Finnish Air Force.
  • May 26, 2008: Eurocopter to acquire Motorflug Baden-Baden GmbH to extend its MRO Capabilities. Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH signed an agreement to acquire Motorflug Baden-Baden GmbH. The German specialist for helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) with bases in Baden-Baden, Rheinmünster and Schönhagen near Berlin will become an integral part of Eurocopter’s service and support business and will complement Eurocopter’s maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities in the civil helicopter market.
  • EC155
  • June 24, 2008: The EC155 drone demo (UAV) performs its first official unmanned flight. This is the first time Eurocopter has equipped a certified, qualified and already commercialized 5-metric-ton helicopter with the capability to fly autonomously from takeoff to landing.
  • June 30, 2008: The Polish Health Ministry signs a contract for 23 EC135s and an EC135 simulator.

  • November 19, 2008: Eurocopter announces the creation of Eurocopter Indonesia. Eurocopter has been present in the country for more than 30 years through a partnership with PTDI which began in 1976, with the licensed manufacturing of 118 BO 105 helicopters. This first joint cooperation was followed in the 1980s by a full licensed production of 11 Puma SA330 and 19 Super Puma AS332 helicopters.

  • Airbus, Helicopter
  • December 23, 2008: A Eurocopter/Helibras consortium and the Brazilian government sign a contract for 50 EC725s. The helicopters will be operated by Brazil’s armed forces. This is the largest contract ever signed in South America and will provide Brazil with a fleet that is capable of performing an extremely wide range of missions. The new contract will double the production capacity and the number of staff at the Itajuba plant, where the EC725 helicopters will be manufactured, assembled and undergo maintenance support activities after delivery.

  • December 29, 2008: OCCAR, the European Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation managing the Tiger combat helicopter program, issued jointly with the DGA (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement) and the BWB (Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung) the final qualification of the HAP (Hélicoptère d’Appui Protection) and UHT (Unterstützungshubschrauber Tiger) versions for France and Germany respectively.

  • OCCAR
  • December 29, 2008: OCCAR, the European Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation managing the Tiger combat helicopter program, issued jointly with the DGA (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement) and the BWB (Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung) the final qualification of the HAP (Hélicoptère d’Appui Protection) and UHT (Unterstützungshubschrauber Tiger) versions for France and Germany respectively.

  • 2007

  • February 15, 2007: The new AS355 NP version of the Ecureuil/A-Star is certified.

  • March 28, 2007:The new Eurocopter España site in Albacete is inaugurated. The plant was designed to incorporate the highest levels of technology in Europe, with the aim of developing a full cycle and permanent helicopter industry in Spain. The 150,000 square meter site will contain 33,000 square meters of covered production facilities.

  • June 20, 2007: The first “high cabin” version of the NH90 is delivered to the FMV (Swedish Defence Materiel Administration). Sweden signed a contract for 25 NH90 in September 2001, covering 18 firm orders of variants for the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH), which includes 13 Tactical Troop Transport (TTT)/Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters and five Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), plus seven options. These helicopters are equipped with a complete new Tactical Mission System (TMS) developed by SAAB in cooperation with NH Industries. Of the 18 NH90, 14 are to be assembled in Finland... Sweden is the launch customer of the High Cabin Version (HCV) of the NH90 which features an increased usable cabin height by 24 centimeters, from 1.58 meters in the standard version to 1.82 meters. This variant allows operators and passengers to stand upright in the cabin.

  • June 20, 2007: Eurocopter celebrates its 15th anniversary with almost 800 customers at the Château de Chantilly.

  • August 27, 2007: The first UH-72A “made in America” is delivered to the U.S. Army. To accommodate its UH-72A industrial activity, the Eurocopter Columbus factory is expanding to a total covered area of 325,000 sq. ft, and its workforce is growing to approximately 330 employees. The construction of two large new buildings is being completed, creating additional area for the Lakota’s assembly hall, flight line, paint shop, warehouse, administrative offices, flight operations and flight test engineering.

  • September, 2007: The fleet of 96 AS365/HH-65 Dauphins operated by the U.S. Coast Guard crosses the million flight hour mark.

  • AS365/HH-65
  • September 6, 2007: Swedish Defence Agency (FMV) takes delivery of the first NH90 helicopter assembled in Finland.

  • NBAA
  • September 25, 2007: The “helicopter by Hermès” is presented to the public at the NBAA trade show in Atlanta. Drawing on a unique blend of talents and skills, ‘l’Hélicoptère par Hermès’ is rooted in a straightforward concept: rise above narrow issues of style versus engineering, and restore the passenger to a position of pre-eminence.
  • HH-65 Dolphin Helicopter Fleet
  • October 8, 2007: U.S. Coast Guard reaches the one million flight hour milestone with its Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin Helicopter Fleet. From the helicopter’s first delivery in 1985, HH-65s have become a key element of Coast Guard aviation, with 96 Dolphins currently in the service’s inventory.
  • KAI
  • October 18, 2007: Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Eurocopter reinforce their industrial cooperation through the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The objective of the above MOU is to create a Joint Venture (JV) Company for the worldwide promotion of the Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH), a 8 metric ton class military/utility transport helicopter.
  • November 1, 2007: Eurocopter sets up fully-owned subsidiary in the United Kingdom through acquisition of McAlpine Helicopters Limited. Eurocopter previously held 10 per cent in the British company which now becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary, Eurocopter UK Limited.

  • HAD S/N 5001
  • December 14, 2007: The first flight of the HAD version of the Tiger (HAD S/N 5001) has taken place in Marignane (France). With respect to the HAP version armed with an utmost accurate turreted gun, the MBDA Mistral air-to-air missile and rocket launchers, the HAD version additionally features a more powerful engine, Spike and Hellfire air-to-ground missile capabilities, an IFF interrogator function, an improved ballistic protection, as well as a new EWS system.

  • 2006

    Airbus Helicopters Vostok map

    • March 31, 2006: NATO Helicopter Management Agency qualifies the TTH German Army variant of the NH90 for the German Army. This qualification is a significant step towards the entry into service of NH90 within the Armed Forces that have already selected it for their military requirements. NH90 German Army TGEA Variant includes a few specific National Operational Customizations mainly in the Communication field.
  • April 6, 2006: Eurocopter inaugurates its subsidiary in Russia, Eurocopter Vostok. The creation of the new subsidiary is accompanied by the implementation of a network of regional maintenance centers in cooperation with local organizations. The first maintenance centers will be opened in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Tyumen, and Sakhalin.
  •  EC725
  • May 10, 2006: Operational Debut of the Combat SAR EC725 Helicopters with the French Armed Forces. The French Air Force, which is the EC725 launch customer, will ultimately operate 6 of the helicopters – 4 have already been delivered – for CSAR missions. The French Army will acquire 8 EC725s – 7 have already been received – for duties with the Special Operations Squadron.

  • May 10, 2006: The American Helicopter Society (AHS) presented its Grover E. Bell Award for technological achievement to Dr. Valentin Klöppel, Program Manager Aeromechanic and Flight Control Engineering at Eurocopter Deutschland, at the AHS Forum in Phoenix, Arizona, for leading the development which led to the world’s first helicopter flight with an electrical flap rotor control system. The Grover E. Bell Award, created in 1957, is awarded annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution within the field of research and experimentation in helicopter development during the preceding year.

  • May 10, 2006: Eurocopter receives American Helicopter Society’s World Record Trophy for Mount Everest Landing. Eurocopter has been awarded the American Helicopter Society’s Igor Sikorsky International Trophy in Phoenix, Arizona, for achieving the high-altitude world record with an AS350 B3 landing on top of Mount Everest in 2005. The Igor Sikorsky International Trophy was created in 1961 by Sikorsky Aircraft and is awarded annually to the company that designed and manufactured a pure helicopter establishing an official record during the preceding calendar year.

  • May 15, 2006: Creation of Eurocopter Training Services (ETS). By creating ETS – a wholly owned Eurocopter subsidiary - Eurocopter has not only confirmed its long-term commitment to training but the company has also moved into high gear: a much broader range of services is now offered with many more staff dedicated to training.

  • June 5, 2006: The Korean Helicopter Program with Korea officially launches. Korean Government gives final « Go Ahead » for Korean Helicopter Program (KHP) which plans the acquisition of 245 utility helicopters to be developed by Korea Aerospace Industries Limited in partnership with Eurocopter. The aim of this program is to replace a fleet of currently-aging American-manufactured corporate and transport helicopters. Korea Aerospace Industry (KAI) will be the main contractor for this program. As first partner of KAI, Eurocopter will provide technical assistance for the development of the aircraft as well as certain sub-assemblies during the production phase.

  • June 30, 2006: The US Army selects 322 UH-72A helicopters (a version of the EC145) for the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program. The value of the order is $ 170 million.

  • November 2, 2006: Dr. Lutz Bertling has been appointed as President and CEO of Eurocopter by the EADS Board of Directors. He succeeds Fabrice Brégier who has been appointed as COO of Airbus.

  • Airbus, Helicopters
  • December 11, 2006: The first UH-72A is delivered to the US Army.

  • December 11, 2006: EADS North America officially delivered the first UH-72A Light Utility Helicopter to the U.S. Army, marking the beginning of this major defence program. The U.S. Army had selected the UH-145 (renamed UH-72A by the Army) in July 2006 with a requirement for up to 322 helicopters and a potential total life-cycle value of over billion.

  • December 13, 2006: Delivery of the first three NH90s to the German Army.The German Army is the first customer to take delivery of the NH90. The aircraft with the serial numbers TGEA02 and TGEA03 will be used for flight training at the German Army Air Corps Weapons School in Bückeburg, while serial number TGEA05 will be used to train maintenance staff.

  • December 13, 2006: Delivery of the first three NH90s to the German Army.The German Army is the first customer to take delivery of the NH90. The aircraft with the serial numbers TGEA02 and TGEA03 will be used for flight training at the German Army Air Corps Weapons School in Bückeburg, while serial number TGEA05 will be used to train maintenance staff.

  • 2005


    • March 18, 2005: The first HAP Tiger is delivered to the French Army. The initial Tiger helicopters will be assigned to the Franco-German Tiger Training Academy at Le Luc in Southern France… The weapons system of the Tiger HAP Combat Support Helicopter includes a 30 mm turret-mounted gun (GIAT) slaved to the pilot's and gunner's helmet-mounted sight, rockets (TDA), and Mistral air-to-air missiles (MBDA).

    • March 18, 2005: The first “high cabin” version of the NH90 conducts its maiden flight. The maiden flight lasted 55 minutes and was performed by a Eurocopter flight test crew consisting of Philippe Boutry (pilot), Denis Trivier (flight engineer), and Jean-Claude Rabany (flight mechanic). At the end of the flight, the crew declared that it was completely satisfied with the behavior of the aircraft. The Swedish high cabin version of the NH90 increases the usable cabin height by 24 centimeters, from 1.58 meters in the standard version to 1.82 meters. The high cabin NH90 also offers an increase in volume of 2.5 cubic meters, providing a total volume of 17.5 cubic meters. The increased cabin height means that missions requiring on-board operations, such as SAR work, can be performed in a more comfortable environment.

  • April 6, 2005: The first UHT Tiger is delivered to the German Army. The helicopter will start operations in the Franco-German Army Aviation Training Centre at LE LUC in the south of France.

  • May 14, 2005: World record for highest altitude takeoff is set by a series AS350 B3 Ecureuils/A-Stars.
  • May 14, 2005: At 7h08 (local time), a serial Ecureuil/AStar AS 350 B3 piloted by the EUROCOPTER X-test pilot Didier Delsalle, landed at 8,850 meters (29,035ft) on the top of the Mount Everest (Kingdom of Nepal). As required by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI - International Aeronautical Federation), the aircraft remained landed on ground more than 2 minutes on the top of the world before flying back to Lukla. This tremendous achievement breaks the World Record for the highest altitude landing and take-off ever, which sets an ultimate milestone in the History of Aviation.

  • NH90
  • July 13, 2005: The first Patria assembled NH90 helicopter has made its successful maiden flight in Halli, Jämsä. Patria assembles 50 NH90 helicopters as a subcontractor to Eurocopter S.A.S., Marignane, France. This first helicopter from Patria assembly line will be delivered to the Finnish Defence Forces.
  • aircraft
  • September 8, 2005: An aircraft equipped with a rotor control system with servo-flaps conducts its maiden flight in Donauwörth (Germany). The primary objective of this new type of control method is to reduce the system-inherent, relatively high noise level of the rotor blade tip vortices to levels significantly below those of modern Eurocopter helicopters with limit values already below the required standards… At the same time, the vibrations that components and passengers alike are subjected to shall be reduced significantly in order to increase the comfort of passengers during the flight and expand the capacity of future helicopters and thereby promote commercial utilization of these aircraft.

  • Airbus
  • December 5, 2005: The presidents of AVIC Il, Harbin Aircraft Industry Group and Eurocopter sign the EC175 cooperation agreement.

  • 2004


    • February 20, 2004: The first Tiger production helicopter ARH (Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter) version, for Australia, performed its maiden flight at Eurocopter's Marignane plant. The Australian ARH version of the Tiger is derived from the Franco-German Tiger variant. It is armed with 70 mm rockets and Hellfire II air-ground missiles on its four hard points, as well as an Australian specific communications and data transmission system.

    • March 29, 2004: The aeronautical programs division of the French General Delegation for Armaments (DGA) issues the military type certification for the HAP version of the Tiger. On 30 March, the European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) then qualifies this version.

    • July 7, 2004: The first Puma helicopter completely refurbished and overhauled by Eurocopter Romania is delivered to the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom.
  • August 17, 2004: The German Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung (BWB) has granted the type certification for the German combat helicopter variant UH-Tiger (Unterstützungshubschrauber Tiger). Only one day later the governmental executive organization of the Tiger programme, OCCAR DT in Bonn, Germany, expressed the qualification for Eurocopter’s ambitious combat helicopter.


  • October 20, 2004: American Eurocopter inaugurates a new Facility in Columbus, Mississippi. Next to Columbus Airport's "Golden Triangle", the new site will provide work for about 100 engineers, technicians and administrative staff. The activities of the new 2,400 acre site will involve manufacturing, assembly and customization. The Columbus site will mainly focus on the assembly and customization of the helicopters sold by American Eurocopter to local and federal government organizations for military operations, homeland security and other parapublic missions.
  • December 8, 2004: Launch of the new HAD version of the Tiger for Spain and France with the signing of the first contracts. At the end of October, OCCAR was mandated by the participating countries to launch the development of this new HAD version of the Eurocopter combat helicopter. This launch signifies a major step forward in the advancement of the Tiger program. The multi-purpose HAD version combines the combat/support capabilities of the HAP version with the attack capability of the air-to-ground missiles of the UHT version.

  • 2003


    • March 26, 2003: The first production HAP Tiger due to be delivered to the French Army Air Corps (ALAT) took off from Marignane plant (France).

    • November 27, 2003: Eurocopter obtained the ISO 9001:2000 and EN9100:2002 certification for all its sites in France and Germany. The 'Association Française pour l'Assurance de la Qualité' (French Quality Assurance Association) performed the audit in France and the certification organization AEROCERT performed the audit in Germany.
      The quality system of the Franco-German helicopter manufacturer is now harmonized in both countries, through standardized procedures.

  • December 12, 2003: The NH90 with full fly-by-wire controls conducts its maiden flight. The main aim of the FBW control system developed by Eurocopter is reduce the pilot's workload so he can focus more on the mission. FBW controls eliminate all the mechanical components from the pedals and pilot control sticks/levers up to the main and tail rotor servocontrols.

  • December 15, 2003: EADS CASA acquires a stake in Eurocopter’s capital.

  • 2002


    • January 28, 2002: The first aircraft worldwide featuring a series production capable primary flight control system via optical fibers ("Fly-by-Light") successfully completed its official maiden flight at Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH's Ottobrunn facility near Munich. The fully-redundant flight control system for pilot and co-pilot was integrated into a production EC135 helicopter. The control signals between the pilot's station, the flight control computer, and the actuators for the rotor-blade control are not transmitted electrically, but optically via optical fibers. The ACT/FHS is being developed within the framework of a technology programme by Eurocopter Deutschland and Liebherr in co-operation with the German Aerospace and Space Centre (DLR) and the German Armed Forces test centre (WTD61).
  • February 21, 2002: Located at the Marseille-Provence International Airport, HELISIM has just been inaugurated by the presidents of Eurocopter (Jean-François Bigay), Thales Training & Simulations (Guy Delevacque), Defense Conseil International (Yves Michot), and HELISIM (Guy Dabadie). HELISIM was founded at the beginning of 2000 as an SAS-type company under French law with three shareholders: Eurocopter (45%), Thales Training & Simulations (45%) and Defense Conseil International (10%).
  • April 24, 2002: Delivery of the first EC145 to the French Sécurité Civile. The organization is the launch customer for the helicopter and has ordered a total of 32. The EC145 has a higher takeoff weight of 3,550 kg, and an enhanced payload. The seating capacity of the various configurations is for up to 10 persons: the pilot and nine passengers. The length of the cabin has been extended from 2.56 to 2.96 meters, and its width by 18 cm to 1.39 meters.
  • July 25, 2002: The front and rear NH90 fuselage sections have been delivered to Eurocopter Deutschland facility in Donauwörth (Munich), which produced the centre one, for the imminent fuselage junction of the first serial production NH90. In accordance with the original NH90 Programme, a single source manufacturer produced the fuselage modules: Eurocopter (Marignane) turned out the front, Eurocopter Deutschland the centre and Agusta (at Brindisi facility) the rear one.
  • September 22, 2002: Eurocopter and EADS CASA sign a memorandum of understanding to create Eurocopter España.

  • Eurocopter Malaysia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurocopter, based in Subang, is created.

  • October 3, 2002: First flight of the EC725 with the MAKILA 2A Engine. The new engine developed by Turbomeca has a new-generation compressor. It operates at higher temperatures, and therefore generates 14% more contingency power (2,448 hp, 2,413 shp) than the preceding version.

  • October 15, 2002: the All Weather Helicopter (AWH) Demonstrator made its maiden flight from Marignane plant (France). The demonstrator was an EC155 B fitted out with:
    - A position-finding system based on GPS and DGPS navigation. The system dialogues with an STNA ground station on the Eurocopter site that provides the differential corrections.
    - A mission computer to manage the 3-dimensional flight plans, to guarantee the safe clearance of the flight plans over the database-stored terrain, and to insure accurate guidance over the flight path with the assistance of a ground collision avoidance function. - Two large screens on the instrument panel to display the AWH-specific piloting symbology, and to show the mission information on a 3D map background.
    - A 4-axis autopilot to allow steep approaches in zero visibility with DGPS guidance.

  • 2001

    Airbus Helicopters site

    • January 15, 2001: The new EC 725 helicopter is presented to the French Air Force chief of staff. This new version will be able to carry a much higher military payload, and will also have an increased civil range of action in comparison to the MK2 version of the Cougar / Super Puma.
      The main differences that distinguish the EC 725/225 from the MK2 version of the Cougar/Super Puma are an entirely new main rotor, a reinforced main gear box, new engines, and a new system of integrated displays and piloting.
  • February 11, 2001: Ecureuil / Squirrel / AStar / TwinStar family: Eurocopter delivers the 3,000th aircraft. It's an EC 130 B4 for Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. With the EC 130 B4 Eurocopter introduced a brandnew product to the world market: The EC 130 B4 has 23 percent more cabin space than the other Ecureuil / Squirrel / AStar versions. It can accommodate seven high comfort seats, or eight seats in medium-density configuration. A further strong point of the EC 130 B4 is its extraordinary cabin visibility offered by its large canopy surface. The Starflex-type main rotor, main gearbox and engine (the proven Turbomeca Arriel 2B with a maximum take-off power of 847 shp) are those of the AS 350 B3, ensuring the helicopter's high performance.

  • June 21, 2001: The Armament Directors of France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands and the State Secretary of Portugal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Le Bourget to include Portugal as fifth European nation in the NH90 program with a 1.2 per cent stake. Portugal will purchase 10 NH90 helicopters for tactical transport missions and in turn become a member of NAHEMO (NATO Helicopter Management Organization, comprising the Steering Committee and NAHEMA, the NATO Helicopter Management Agency), the government authority which controls the program.
  • Romania
  • June 21, 2001: Eurocopter Romania is created, a subsidiary owned by Eurocopter (51%) and Industria Aeronautica Româna(49%); based in Brasov.
  • July 12, 2001: Eurocopter Chile, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurocopter, based in Santiago is created.

  • COHC Gamec is created, a subsidiary owned by Citic Offshore Helicopter Company (51%), Eurocopter (21%), Samwell Aviation (15%) and Bristow (13%); based in Shenzhen, China.

  • August 10, 2001: Tiger selected as the tenderer by the Australian Minister of Defence in the frame of AIR 87 project.
  • December 21, 2001: Eurocopter Tiger ARH contract awarding in Australia. From December 2004, Eurocopter International Pacific will deliver 22 Tiger ARH. The Tiger ARH are planned to be assembled in Queensland at Australian Aerospace Pty Limited, the recently acquired subsidiary of EADS in Australia.

  • 2000


    • June 8, 2000: During an official ceremony at ILA, a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) covering a global intention of acquiring 595 helicopters and a global commitment for the industrialization and the production of 366 NH90 helicopters was signed by Jean-Yves Helmer, Délégué Général pour l'Armement (France), State Secretary Dr. Walther Stützle (Germany), Onorevole Dott. Domenico Minniti, Sottosegretario alla Difesa (Italy) and Dr. Jan Fledderus, Directeur Generaal Materieel (The Netherlands).

    • June 30, 2000: The contract for the Production Investment and the Production (PI/P) of a 1st batch of helicopters was signed in Paris by Helmuth Heumann, General Manager of NAHEMA, and Philippe Stuckelberger, General Manager of NHIndustries. The 1st batch of 298 NH90 helicopters is part of the immediate production commitment of 366 helicopters, included in the total requirement of 595 NH90s.

    • July 10, 2000: The EADS Group is formed.

    • September 18, 2000: Eurocopter changes its legal form from a Joint Stock Company (SA) to a Simplified Stock Company (SAS). Jean-François Bigay is named Chairman of Eurocopter SAS... This operation was made possible by the creation of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Compagny (EADS) which has resulted from the merger of the two shareholders, Aerospatiale Matra (France) and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Germany) and the Spanish company CASA on July 10, 2000.

    • October, 2000: In-flight refueling tests successfully completed with a combat search and rescue Cougar. The refueling procedure starts with the helicopter flying in formation in the wake of the tanker airplane. After hook-up by means of a refueling boom connected to the refueling pod located on the airplane wing, the helicopter takes up a position slightly to the side and higher, and the fuel transfer operation can start.
      The first tests conducted involved partial refueling with 500 and 1,000 pounds of fuel, then a full refueling operation was completed during which 5,500 pounds of fuel were transferred in less than fifteen minutes. The tests were conducted from the left wing and then from the right wing of the tanker airplane, changing the configurations of the helicopter until the maximum operational configuration was tested (maximum all up weight carrying all the external stores).

    • November 27, 2000: The EC725 conducts its maiden flight.

  • November 30, 2000: The new MK2+ version of the medium-lift (11-tonne category) twin engine, Cougar / Super Puma helicopter has just completed its maiden flight from the Eurocopter plant in Marignane. The Cougar / Super Puma MK2+ will continue to use the Spheriflex main and tail rotor heads, whose technology and performance have been demonstrated and also offer lower maintenance costs. The five main rotor blades of the Cougar / Super Puma MK2+ benefit from a state-of-the-art airfoil design. They have a composite spar with parabolic blade tips with an anhedral profile. This 5-blade configuration ensures a particularly low vibration level for the helicopter. The main rotor system has a diameter of 16.2 meters.

  • 1999


    • June 11, 1999: The Aerospatiale Matra group is founded.

    • June 12, 1999: The EC145, successor to the BK117, conducts its maiden flight. The EC145 offers an increased maximum takeoff weight and payload capacity as well as modern cockpit identical to that of the EC135.

    • June 24, 1999: The EC130 conducts its maiden flight. This new member of the Ecureuil/AStar family offers more cabin space, a very wide visibility and a reduced noise level meeting the Grand Canyon standards required by the American National Parks services.

    1998


    • May 20, 1998: A Franco-German Memorandum of Understanding for the production of the Tiger helicopter is signed in Berlin.

  • July 22, 1998: Aerospatiale announces its privatisation by way of a merger with the Lagardère subsidiary Matra Hautes Technologies.

  • August 1, 1998:Patrick Gavin is appointed President of the Eurocopter Management Board in place of Jean-François Bigay, who takes up his new position as Senior Executive Vice President, Aeronautical Sector, within the Aerospatiale Group.

  • BK117 C2
  • August 26, 1998: The French Ministry of Interior announces the purchase of 32 BK117 C2 helicopters through a contract worth 170 million USD with Eurocopter. This new dedicated version of the twin-engine BK117 will be used to cover the entire spectrum of public safety and passenger transport requirements over flat country, water or mountainous terrain.
  • November 17, 1998: DaimlerChrysler makes its stock market debut. Its subsidiary Dasa, a Eurocopter shareholder, is renamed DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG.

  • NH90
  • November 27, 1998:The maiden flight of the third prototype of the NH90 (PT3) successfully takes place. The trial starts at 5:05 p.m. and for 30 minutes, the NH90 PT3 is flown by experimental test pilot, Philippe Boutry, flight test engineer, Denis Trivier and flight engineer, Jean-Claude Rabany.
  • December 11, 1998:The twin-engine EC155 B receives its initial type certification simultaneously from the civil aviation authorities in France (DGAC) and in Germany (LBA).
  • 1997

    AS350 B3 Ecureuil/AStar

    • February 1997: The EC120 is unveiled in Eurocopter’s Heli-Expo booth in Anaheim, California.

  • March 4, 1997: The AS350 B3 Ecureuil/AStar, successor to the Lama, conducts its maiden flight. Its powerful engine predestines it for aerial work. Eight years later, it breaks the world record for the highest takeoff altitude from the summit of Mount Everest.


  • March 19, 1997: The maiden flight of the second prototype of the NH90 (PT2) successfully takes place. The NH90 PT2 is flown by experimental test pilot, Philippe Boutry, flight test engineer, Denis Trivier, and flight engineer, Jean-Claude Rabany.
  • June 17, 1997: The EC155 conducts its maiden flight. This upgraded version of the Dauphin (Spheriflex 5-blade main rotor and quiet Fenestron® tail rotor) provides 40% more cabin space.

  • June 20, 1997: The Tiger industrialisation contract is signed during the Bourget Airshow.

  • July 2, 1997: The NH90 completes its first fly-by-wire flight, and is the world’s first helicopter to be equipped with a fly-by-wire control system.

  • July, 1997:Delivery of the 2,000th single engine Ecureuil/Fennec (an AS350 BA) to DHFS (Defence Helicopter Flying School) in charge of pilot training in the UK.

  • 1996

    NH90 first flight

    • February 15, 1996: The ceremony for the first official flight of the NH90 takes place at the Eurocopter plant in Marignane, France. The first NH90 prototype flies in the presence of military and governmental representatives from France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands (the nations participating in the NH90 Programme), military attachés of several western nations, European industry representatives and world press.

  • October 30, 1996:The AS365 N3 conducts its maiden flight, the high-performance version of the Dauphin family.

  • February 21, 1996: The maiden flight of the fifth Tiger prototype (PT5) takes place successfully in Ottobrunn, Germany.
  • May 13, 1996: The NH90 participates for the first time in the aerial display at the ILA Airshow in Berlin. The first prototype of the NH90 helicopter (PT1) arrives in Schönefeld airport transported by a Beluga aircraft and after a very short pre-flight inspection is ready to fly in the presence of the officials, press and public visiting the airshow.

  • October 30, 1996: The AS365 N3, the high-performance version of the Dauphin, conducts its maiden flight.
  • 1995

    EC120 Maiden flight

    • June 9, 1995: The EC120 conducts its maiden flight. With this helicopter, Eurocopter extends its range to include 1.5 metric tonne machines.

  • June 10, 1995: In the frame of the NH90 Helicopter Programme, after the addition of an addendum to the general Memorandum of Understanding signed by the four nations participating in the programme (France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands), the contract for the additional work and national customisation is signed by NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency) and NH Industries (NH90 prime contractor). This contract will customise the NH90 helicopter to the particular operational needs of the four nations’ armed forces as foreseen in the design & development contract.

  • September 29, 1995: First NH90 prototype rolls out. Three years after the signature of the NH90 design & development contract, NH Industries presents, as scheduled, the first prototype of a fully assembled NH90 helicopter. The event takes place in the presence of the customer NAHEMA and top defence officials from France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, at the Eurocopter factory in Marignane, France, where final assembly was carried out.
  • December 18, 1995:The first prototype of the NH90 is successfully flown, as scheduled, from the Eurocopter plant in Marignane, France. The trial starts at 4 p.m. and for the next 40 minutes the NH90 is flown by experimental test pilots Philippe Boutry and Guy Dabadie with flight test engineer Denis Trivier and flight engineer Jean-Luc Rabany.
  • 1994

    EC135 Maiden flight

    • February15, 1994: Maiden flight of the EC135, the first helicopter in the Eurocopter range and successor to the BO108. The most important addition to the EC135 is its Fenestron® tail rotor. It is also equipped with a bearingless main rotor. This is the first civil model since Eurocopter’s founding and the fruit of close collaboration between French and German teams.

    Tiger
  • December 16, 1994: Maiden flight of the 4th Tiger prototype.
  • 1993

  • April 22, 1993: Maiden flight of the 2nd Tiger prototype.

  • June 11-20, 1993: The Tiger is presented at the Paris Airshow.
  • October 8, 1993: Signature of a contract (named Phenix) with Turkey for 20 Mark I Cougars.
  • October 29, 1993: Jean-François Bigay, president of Eurocopter, and Ton Frinking, Secretary of State for Defence of the Netherlands, sign a contract (named Tournesol) for 17 Mark II Cougars for the Air Force.
  • November 19, 1993:Maiden flight of the 3rd Tiger prototype.
  • 1992

    American Eurocopter site
  • January 1, 1992: The helicopter divisions of Aerospatiale (France) and MBB (Germany) merge to form the Eurocopter group.
  • September 1, 1992: The NH90 development contract is signed between NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency) and NH Industries. The NH90 is a European collaboration between four countries: France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. NH Industries is the focal point for the NH90 programme which is a French SAS company, based in Aix-en-Provence. It is wholly owned by Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), Leonardo (former AgustaWestland) (32%) and Fokker Aerostructures (5.5%) and is the focal point for these companies for the NH90 programme. Established in 1992, NHI has managed the design, development and entry into service of the NH90 for both NAHEMA and export customers.

  • October 20, 1992: The joint development contract for the EC120 is signed with Catic (China) and Singapore Aerospace Ltd (Singapore).

  • November 9, 1992: Roll-out of the 2nd Tiger prototype at the Ottobrunn facility in its Gerfaut escort/support version.

  • November 13, 1992:Aerospatiale Helicopter Australia becomes Eurocopter International Pacific, later to become Australian Aerospace in 2002. The subsidiary is inaugurated by Jean-François Bigay, president of Eurocopter, and Siegfried Sobotta, co-president of Eurocopter, in the presence of Australian Prime Minister, Paul J. Keating.
  • November 15, 1992: The AS332 L2 Super Puma is awarded British CAA certification.

  • American Eurocopter is founded: As a result of a merger between the Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation and the MBB Helicopter Corporation.

  • American Eurocopter is founded as a result of a merger between the Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation and the MBB Helicopter Corporation.

  • Eurocopter Service Japan is founded and later renamed Eurocopter Japan in 2005.

  • Early History