During China’s inaugural Helicopter Exposition which was held in Tianjin this past week (15-18 September), Eurocopter will showcase 3 of its most successful models currently operating in the country: the AS350 B3, EC135 and EC225.
Eurocopter has a 40% share in this marketplace with over 120 helicopters operating in the region, and it foresees a large potential for growth as China’s general aviation sector continues to liberalize, along with an opening of the low-altitude airspace.
“Our priority is to work with all key Chinese sectors – including government agencies, private operators and industry – in furthering the role of helicopters throughout the country,” said Eurocopter President and CEO Lutz Bertling. “This builds on Eurocopter’s commitment to China, which is based on our more than four decades as China’s leading helicopter partner and a present in-country presence unmatched by any other foreign helicopter producer.”
Eurocopter’s AS350 B3 is the company’s “best-seller” in China for utility work, including power line survey missions. This high-performance single-engine helicopter outclasses its competition in terms of performance, versatility and safety. It excels in hot conditions and very high altitudes, holding the record as the only helicopter to have landed on top of Mount Everest. Together with other models in Eurocopter’s Ecureuil product line, there currently are a total of 26 helicopters from this rotary-wing aircraft family operating in China – mostly for utility work and heli-tourism operations.
The popular EC135 light twin-engine helicopter already is a proven success in China with the Shanghai and Guangdong police forces. Highly versatile, it can be configured for many different missions, including emergency medical services and disaster management, along with search and rescue duties. Features include a large cabin; rear and side access for easy stretcher loading; protected tail rotor; and low noise and vibration levels. The EC135’s cabin flexibility and comfort have made it a sought-after model for corporate and VIP transport, leading to the collaboration with French luxury label Hermès for an exclusive, high-end version.
Eurocopter’s heavy twin-engine EC225 is a member of the company’s Super Puma family, and is recognized worldwide as the best multi-purpose helicopter in the 10/11-metric-ton class of rotary-wing aircraft. It has served many nations in various capacities, including homeland security, search and rescue, fire-fighting and multiple other public services. A total of 10 EC225s currently are operating in China, with one from the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department being deployed during the Guangzhou Asian Games. The most recent two deliveries of EC225s were made to the China Ministry of Transport’s Rescue & Salvage Bureau in June and August.