Airbus 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 are at its headquarters in Marignane, France and in Donauwörth, Germany, with additional production plants in Brazil (Helibras), Australia, Spain and the United States. The company was renamed Airbus Helicopters on 2 January 2014, later only “Airbus”.
Airbus 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 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’ 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 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.
Since approximately 2006, Eurocopter has been involved in the planning for the proposed pan-European Future Transport Helicopter project.
As of 2014, more than 12,000 Airbus were in service with over 3,000 customers in around 150 countries.
Eurocopter sold 422 helicopters in 2013 and delivered 497 helicopters that year. In 2014, AH built a concrete cylinder for testing helicopters before first flight.
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 AS350 B2, AS635 and 565, the EC145e, the AS332 and 532, the Tiger and the NH90, which will keep their current names.:
|Original name||Current name||Maiden flight||MTOW [t]||Configuration|
|AS332 Super Puma C1e/L1e||AS332 C1e/L1e||13 Sep 1978||9.15||twin-engine transport/utility|
|AS350 Ecureuil/AStar B2/B3e||AS350 B2/H125||27 Jun 1974||2.25||single-engine|
|AS355 Ecureuil 2/TwinStar||28 Sep 1979||2.54||light twin-engine utility helicopter|
|AS365 Dauphin N3+||AS365 N3+||24 Jan 1975||4.3||civil twin-engine|
|AS532 Cougar ALe||AS532 ALe||Sep 1977||9||twin-engine|
|AS550 Fennec & AS555 Fennec 2 C3e||H125M||1990||2.25||single and twin engine|
|AS565 Panther MBe||AS565 MBe||29 Feb 1984||4.3||military twin-engine|
|EC120 Colibri B||H120||9 Jun 1995||1.715||5-seat single-engine[a]|
|EC130 T2||H130||24 Jun 1999||2.43||single-engine ‘wide-body’|
|EC135 T3/P3||H135||15 Feb 1994||2.91||civil twin-engine|
|EC145e / T2||H145||12 Jun 1999||3.6||civil twin-engine|
|EC155 B1||H155||17 Jun 1997||4.92||long-range passenger transport|
|EC175||H175||17 Dec 2009||7.8||twin-engine transport/utility|
|EC225 Super Puma e||H225||27 Nov 2000||11.2||long-range passenger transport|
|EC635 T2e/P2e||H135M||May 1998||2.9||twin-engine military|
|EC645 T2||H145M||12 Jun 1999||3.6||military twin-engine|
|EC665 Tiger||Tiger||27 April 1991||6||attack helicopter|
|EC725 Cougar||H225M||27 Nov 2000||11.2||long-range tactical transport|
|NHIndustries NH90||NH90||18 Dec 1995||10.6||twin-engine, fly-by-wire|
|X4||H160||13 Jun 2015||5.67||AS365/EC155 replacement|
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