Eurocopter closed out a 20-year history of rotorcraft leadership with increased deliveries of 497 helicopters in 2013. Renamed Airbus Helicopters, the company opened 2014 with the certification of its new EC175 and the implementation of an ambitious customer-driven transformation plan.
“We enter 2014 with a transformation plan that is being applied across the company and responds to customers’ evolving expectations,” explained Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury. “In parallel, the Airbus Helicopters rebranding provides a reference for greater ambition, inspired by the Airbus Group’s values and excellence.”
A key focus of the transformation plan will ensure product maturity, while delivering the best level of mission capabilities and offering reliable, efficient support and services. Quality is an essential element in Airbus Helicopters’ transformation, involving the implementation of standard processes and tools, along with a further drive to deploy lean cultural change.
Faury reaffirmed the vital importance of safety for Airbus Helicopters, placing its technologies and expertise at the service of customer safety. As part of initiatives in this area, Airbus Helicopters will begin delivering the EC130 T2 this year with the Vision 1000 data monitoring and cockpit imaging system, which follows its pioneering use on Ecureuil family helicopters.
Competitiveness improvements resulting from the company’s transformation plan will capitalize on the “favorite mission configuration” concept for Airbus Helicopters’ products that reduces lead-times and improves cost-effectiveness – contributing to the company’s sustainable development and growth.
Airbus Helicopters’ highlights for the coming 12 months include the delivery start-up of its new EC175, which successfully completed the certification process yesterday – to be followed by the type certificate’s issuance within the next several days. The EC175 marks Airbus Helicopters’ first application for its state-of-the-art Helionix® avionics, which enhances safety and operability.
Also to be certified in 2014 is Airbus Helicopters’ new EC145 T2, which incorporates Helionix avionics as well, while increased production rates will be implemented for the military NH90, Tiger and EC725 helicopters during the year.
For the next-generation of Airbus Helicopters now in development, the company will be applying new levels of crew-machine interface, automation and system integration – further enhancing flight safety.
With an industry-leading 497 helicopters delivered in 2013, representing an increased 46 percent market share in the civil and parapublic market, Airbus Helicopters confirmed its global leadership.
2013 at a glance
The 422-helicopter order intake in 2013 by product range
Source: Airbus Helicopters
Date: Jan 28, 2014