Memories of Air Commander: The EC130 T2 Unveiled

Grand Prairie, TX (By Airbus Helicopters) - At noon today, Eurocopter’s booth was surrounded by more than 500 onlookers for a ceremony centered around a major product reveal – the new EC130 T2.

The unveiling commenced with a storybook mise-en-scene of Eurocopter’s twenty years of history and evolving product line projected onto a massive curtain hiding the much awaited product. When the curtain dropped, Eurocopter’s President and CEO Lutz Bertling took to the stage to introduce the EC130 T2. The new model is based on the EC130 B4, which has dominated the heli-tour market over the past decade.

The EC130 T2 is powered by the new Arriel 2D engine, which combines a 6,000-hour mature TBO and improved fuel efficiency with an advanced dual-channel FADEC and 950 shp takeoff rating. Comfort in the T2 is greatly enhanced, thanks to an active anti-vibration control system, thereby ensuring passengers – or patients – with the smoothest and coolest ride possible, as well as a new dual zone air conditioning system.

The new model is also fitted with a new energy absorbing fuel cell, meeting the very latest safety requirements, and the aircraft’s energy absorbing passenger seats have been redesigned, improving cabin flexibility while reducing weight. The T2 is also fitted with new doors inspired from the automotive industry, as well as sliding passenger doors on both sides of the cabin. The T2 features a new console and improved man-machine interface instrument panel, which will feature Garmin’s G500H advanced flight display.

The combination of increased power, an improved center of gravity and a new anti-vibration system improves the EC130’s performance to such a degree that this aircraft now offers hot and high performance that will challenge the AS350 B3’s reputation as the king of the mountain. The T2 also offers faster cruise speeds, especially at altitude, while the higher useful load and improved fuel economy result in longer mission range. “We truly believe that this aircraft will set the standard for single-engine turbine helicopters for years to come,” said Bertling.

Mr. Bertling invited five EC130 T2 launch customers to join him on the stage. Collectively, they have already signed for a total of 105 EC130 T2. There was John Buch of Maverick Helicopters, Lon Halvorson of Papillon Helicopters, Dave Chevalier of Blue Hawaiian, Martin Pihl of Scandinavian Helicopter Group, Kamal El-Nashar of Air Commander and James Marshall of Enloe. On stage, customers expressed their reasons for choosing the EC130 T2, which included better performance and cost-effectiveness, Eurocopter’s overall good service, and the fact that the Group listened to its customers and their needs for more performance and mission capability when developing the new version of the EC130. The EC130 T2 will be on display throughout the air show. (12 February 2012)

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