Air Methods Corp., the U.S. largest operator of helicopters for emergency air medical transport services, has placed an order with American Eurocopter Corp. for 22 new helicopters valued at more than $80 million.
With the order Air Methods, based in Englewood, Colo., continues to equip its fleet with new aircraft incorporating the latest in safety and technology improvements. Air Methods already operates more than 330 Eurocopter helicopters, comprising about 80 percent of its fleet.
“We truly value our on-going partnership with Air Methods,” said Marc Paganini, President and Chief Executive of American Eurocopter. “This acquisition demonstrates their faith in our ability to deliver safe, high quality products so they can best serve their demanding mission requirements. I pledge my continued support of their existing fleet and these new aircraft for decades to come.”
The Air Methods order includes: 10 EC-130T2, a large capacity single engine aircraft; six AS350B3e single-engine aircraft; and six EC-135P2e helicopters.
The AS#%)B3e is made at Eurocopter’s plant in Lowndes County.
“Our Eurocopter helicopters order is part of our commitment to having the most modern fleet in the helicopter emergency medical services industry and to support future growth opportunities,” said Archie Gray, senior vice president, Air Methods Aviation Services. “These three Eurocopter airframes combine performance, speed, and good operating costs, making them great choices for our operations.”
The EC-130T2 is the newest addition to the Eurocopter product line with a Fenestron-enclosed tail rotor that reduces noise and enhances passenger and crew safety. The EC-135P2e is an improved version of the top selling light twin-engine helicopter with an increased capacity for carrying equipment or fuel. Air Methods already operates 86 EC-135s.
The A350B3e is the latest update to Eurocopter’s top-selling single engine aircraft and is equipped a new Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine with a dual digital engine control system. This modern engine offers increased reliability and decreased maintenance costs and is fitted with an Engine Data Recorder. The AS350 B3e cockpit, with its dual LCD-screen Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD), allows the pilot to check at a glance key aircraft performance parameters, reducing pilot workload and enhancing safety.
The new helicopters will be delivered beginning in mid-2014 through 2015. Completions of the aircraft will be performed by United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods.