Orlando, USA: Eurocopter has said that it registered record orders of 112 units, 88 firm with 24 options, at the just concluded Heli-Expo 2007 exhibition held at Orlando, Florida, USA. It also said that a majority of the new orders came from North American clients. The Orlando fair is dedicated to the display of helicopters.
The orders for Eurocopter come on the back of record sales for the European helicopter giant in 2006, which saw it selling 615 units, 50 per cent more than in 2005. Orders at the Heli-Expo 2007 also come hard on the heels of the signing of a first-time contract for 322 units of its UH-72A type for the US Army. The UH-72A is derived from the EC145 and is named the Lakota.
The company said that these sales strengthen its position in the American commercial market, where it holds a leading position with more than 40 per cent market share.
Eurocopter is a supplier for several federal agencies in the USA such as the FBI, US Custom & Border Protection, the department of Homeland Security, State & County police forces as well as the US Coast Guard. The Coast Guard's fleet of 95 Dauphin's was recently re-engined.
Providing the breakdown of it sales figures at the Expo, Eurocopter said that of the 112 new orders 47 would be used to serve the oil and gas industry. Of this figure, 27 bookings have been made for the EC225, which is the latest member of the Super Puma family. This category of heavy helicopters (11 tons), hold a commanding position in the offshore market and is well known for its reliability, operational availability, and crucial performance parameters, such as high cruising speed, range, payload.
A number of EC135 and EC145 have also been ordered for offshore missions as well.
A total of 34 helicopters have been ordered for use in emergency evacuation missions. These include the AS350 B2/B3 types.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 14,000 people.
In 2006, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's leading helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 3.8 billion euros, arising from orders for 615 new helicopters. According to Eurocopter, more than 9,800 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,500 customers in 140 countries. The company offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.