Airbus Helicopters SAS (formerly Eurocopter Group) is the helicopter manufacturing division of Airbus. It is the largest in the industry in terms of revenues and turbine helicopter deliveries. Its head office is located at Marseille Provence Airport in Marignane, France, near Marseille. The main facilities of Airbus Helicopters are at its headquarters in Marignane, France and in Donauwörth, Germany, with additional production plants in Brazil (Helibras), Australia, Spain, Romania and the United States. The company was renamed from Eurocopter to Airbus Helicopters on 2 January 2014. In 2018, Airbus delivered 356 helicopters, a 54% share of the civil or parapublic market over five seats, ahead of Leonardo Helicopters (21%), Bell Helicopter (12%) and Russian Helicopters (10%).
|Headquarters||Marseille Provence Airport|
|Bruno Even (CEO)|
|Revenue||€5.9 billion (2018)|
Number of employees
Airbus Helicopters was formed in 1992 as Eurocopter Group, through the merger of the helicopter divisions of Aérospatiale and DASA. The company's heritage traces back to Blériot and Lioré et Olivier in France and to Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf in Germany.
Airbus Helicopters and its predecessor companies have established a wide range of helicopter firsts, including the first production turboshaft-powered helicopter (the Aérospatiale Alouette II of 1955); the introduction of the Fenestron shrouded tail rotor (on the Gazelle of 1968); the first helicopter certified for full flight in icing conditions (the AS332 Super Puma, in 1984); the first production helicopter with a Fly-by-wire control system (the NHIndustries NH90, first flown in full FBW mode in 2003); the first helicopter to use a Fly-by-light primary control system (an EC135 testbed, first flown in 2003); and the first ever landing of a helicopter on Mt. Everest (achieved by an AS350 B3 in 2005).
As a consequence of the merger of Airbus Helicopters' former parents in 2000, the firm is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus. The creation of what was then called EADS in 2000 also incorporated CASA of Spain, which itself had a history of helicopter-related activities dating back to Talleres Loring, including local assembly of the Bo105.
Today, Airbus Helicopters has four main plants in Europe (Marignane and La Courneuve in France, and Donauwörth and Kassel in Germany), plus 32 subsidiaries and participants around the world, including those in Brisbane, Australia, Albacete, Spain and Grand Prairie, USA.
As of 2014, more than 12,000 Airbus Helicopters were in service with over 3,000 customers in around 150 countries.
Structural evolution of Airbus SE
|18 December 1970||1 January 1992||10 July 2000||18 September 2000||January 2001||1 December 2006||1 April 2009||17 September 2010||17 January 2014||27 May 2015||1 January 2017||12 April 2017|
|European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company NV||Airbus Group NV||Airbus Group SE||Airbus SE|
|Airbus Industrie GIE||Airbus SAS|
|Airbus Military SAS||Airbus Defence and Space SAS|
|EADS Defence and Security||Cassidian SAS|
|Astrium SAS||EADS Astrium SAS|
|Eurocopter SA||Eurocopter SAS||Airbus Helicopters SAS|
Historical emblems of the company:
Some of the helicopters were renamed in 2015, resembling Airbus airplane naming. When the division changed its name from Eurocopter Group to Airbus Helicopters in 2014 the trade names of the products were changed (applied by 1 January 2016) to reflect this. Suffixes, as well as the differentiation for single or twin engines, were no longer to be used. Military versions were to be symbolized by the letter M. The only exceptions to this new branding were the AS365, the AS565, the Tiger and the NH90, which will keep their current names.:
|Original name||New name||Deliveries||MTOW [t]||Powerplant||Capacity|
|AS355 Écureuil 2||1975-2016||2.54||2 × 420 hp Allison 250||1 pilot + 5/6 passengers|
|EC120 Colibri B[a]||H120||1998-2017||1.715||1 × 500 hp Arrius 2||1 pilot + 4 passengers|
|AS350 Écureuil||H125||1975-today||2.25-2.8||1 × 847 hp Arrius||1 pilot + 5/6 passengers|
|AS550 Fennec / AS555 Fennec 2||H125M||1990-today||2.25||1 × 850 hp Arrius 2B||2 pilots + 4|
|EC130 (from AS350)||H130||2001-today||2.5-3.05||1 × 952 hp Arrius 2B||1 pilot + 6/7 passengers|
|EC135 [b]||H135||1996-today||2.98||2 × 627 hp Arrius/PW206||1 pilot + 6/7 passengers|
|EC635||H135M||1998-today||2.9||2 × 817 hp PW206||1 pilot + 8 troops|
|EC145 (from BK 117))[b]||H145||2002-today||3.7||2 × 1,072 hp Arriel||2 pilots + 10 passengers|
|EC645[c]||H145M||2014-today||3.7||2 × 782 hp Arriel||1/2 pilots + 10|
|AS365 Dauphin [d]||1978-today||4.3||2 × 961 hp Arriel||2 pilots + 12 passengers|
|AS565 Panther||1986-today||4.3||2 × 1,129 hp Arriel||2 pilot + 10 troops|
|EC155||H155||1999-today||4.92||2 × 1,053 hp Arriel||2 pilots + 13 passengers|
|X4||H160||from 2019||6.05||2 × 1,110-1,300 hp Arrano||2 pilots + 12 passengers|
|EC175||H175||2014-today||7.8||2 × 2,067 hp PT6||2 pilots + 16/18 passengers|
|AS332 Super Puma||H215||1980-today||8.6-9.35||2 × 1,877 hp Makila||2 pilots + 15/19 passengers|
|AS532 Cougar||H215M||1978-today||9-9.35||2 × 1,877 hp Makila||2 pilots + 1 chief + 24 troops|
|EC225 Super Puma||H225||2004-today||11-11.2||2 × 2,101 hp Makila||2 pilots + 19 passengers|
|EC725 Caracal[e]||H225M||2005-today||11-11.2||2 × 2,382 hp Makila||2 pilots + 1 chief + 28 troops|
|NHIndustries NH90[f]||NH90||2006-today||10.6-11||2 × 2,913 hp RTM 322 / GE T700||Crew (2 + 1) + 20 troops|
|EC665 Tiger||Tiger||2003-today||6.6||2 × 1,774 hp MTR390||1 pilot + 1 gunner|
- with Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation
- developed in Germany, its rotor turns counter-clockwise when viewed from above like American rotorcraft, as opposed to other Airbus Helicopters designed in France, and Russian rotorcraft
- UH-72 Lakota for the US Army
- HH-65 Dolphin for the US Coast Guard, Harbin Z-9 in China
- KAI KUH-1 Surion in South Korea
- via 62.5% share in NHIndustries joint venture
- X³ rotorcraft – hybrid helicopter with two forward propellers, which achieved a 255-knot speed milestone in level flight in June 2011.
- Airbus Helicopters X6 – Two year concept study into the possible launch of an 11.5t helicopter to replace the H225.
- Airbus RACER, experimental high-speed compound helicopter developed from the X³, targeting a 2020 first flight.
- Airbus CityAirbus, electrically-powered VTOL aircraft demonstrator, intended for an air taxi role.
Comparable major helicopter manufacturers:
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- Sheppard, Ian (1 August 2013). "Eurocopter To Be Renamed Airbus Helicopter". AINonline. AIN Publications. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
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- Airbus Helicopters history Archived 14 January 2014 at Archive.today
- "Landing on Air". National Geographic Adventure. 1 September 2005. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
- "Everest 2005: The Helicopter land on Everest with video: But it is good?". wayback.archive-it.org. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- "French Everest Mystery Chopper's Utopia summit". MountEverest.net. 27 May 2005. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015.
- Airbus Helicopters – Spain Archived 16 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Airbus Helicopters – Interactive Network Map Archived 15 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Rüstung: EU beschließt Bau von Helikopter" (in German). Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Airbus Helicopters – Who We are Archived 14 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Airbus Helicopters aims high with new branding and a strategic transformation Archived 3 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "HeliHub.com New dynamic testing method at Airbus brings helicopters to market quickly". helihub.com. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- "Flying as one: Fully integrated Airbus takes off". Airbus. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Airbus renames fleet". Vertical Magazine. April 2015. p. 36. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Civil Range" (PDF). Airbus Helicopters. 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- "Military Range" (PDF). Airbus Helicopters. 2018.
- Eurocopter's X3 hybrid helicopter makes aviation history in achieving a speed milestone of 255 knots during level flight Archived 27 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "PARIS: Airbus Helicopters launches X6 concept phase". 16 June 2015.
- "www.airbushelicopters.com/website/en/press/Airbus-Helicopters-launches-X6-concept-phase,-setting-the-standard-for-the-future-in-heavy-lift-rotorcraft_1771.html". www.airbushelicopters.com. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Airbus Helicopters.|
- Official website
- Airbus Helicopters timeline at Helis.com
- Dominic Perry (20 February 2018). "Faury leaves Airbus Helicopters a business transformed". Flightglobal.