Airbus Helicopters

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Airbus Helicopters SAS
Operating Division
Founded1992; 26 years ago (1992)
HeadquartersMarseille Provence Airport
Marignane, France
Key people
Bruno Even (CEO)[1]
Revenue€6.3 billion (2013)
Number of employees

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.[2] 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 and the United States. The company was renamed Airbus Helicopters on 2 January 2014.[3]


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.[4]

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).[5][6][7]

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.[8][9]

Since approximately 2006, Eurocopter has been involved in the planning for the proposed pan-European Future Transport Helicopter project.[10]

As of 2014, more than 12,000 Airbus Helicopters were in service with over 3,000 customers in around 150 countries.[11]

Eurocopter sold 422 helicopters in 2013 and delivered 497 helicopters that year.[12] In 2014, AH built a concrete cylinder for testing helicopters before first flight.[13]

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[edit]

Historical emblems of the company:


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.:[14]

Original name Current name Maiden flight MTOW [t] Configuration
EC120 Colibri B H120 9 Jun 1995 1.715 5-seat single-engine[a]
AS350 Ecureuil/AStar B2/B3e H125 27 Jun 1974 2.25 single-engine
AS355 Ecureuil 2/TwinStar N/A 28 Sep 1979 2.54 light twin-engine utility helicopter
AS550 Fennec & AS555 Fennec 2 C3e H125M 1990 2.25 single and twin engine
EC130 T2 H130 24 Jun 1999 2.43 single-engine 'wide-body'
EC135 T3/P3 H135 15 Feb 1994 2.91 civil twin-engine
EC635 T2e/P2e H135M May 1998 2.9 twin-engine military
EC145e / T2 H145 12 Jun 1999 3.6 civil twin-engine
EC645 T2 H145M 12 Jun 1999 3.6 military twin-engine
AS365 Dauphin N3+ AS365 N3+ 24 Jan 1975 4.3 civil twin-engine
AS565 Panther MBe AS565 MBe 29 Feb 1984 4.3 military twin-engine
EC155 B1 H155 17 Jun 1997 4.92 long-range passenger transport
X4 H160 13 Jun 2015 5.67 AS365/EC155 replacement
EC175 H175 17 Dec 2009 7.8 twin-engine transport/utility
AS332 Super Puma C1e/L1e H215 13 Sep 1978 9.15 twin-engine transport/utility
AS532 Cougar ALe H215M Sep 1977 9 twin-engine
EC225 Super Puma e H225 27 Nov 2000 11.2 long-range passenger transport
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 [b]
EC665 Tiger Tiger 27 April 1991 6 attack helicopter
  1. ^ with Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation
  2. ^ via 62.5% share in NHI joint venture

Some of the helicopters were renamed in 2015, resembling Airbus airplane naming.[18]

Note: On Airbus Helicopters aircraft designed in France, the main rotor turns clockwise when viewed from above, in common with rotorcraft deriving from Russia. Airbus Helicopters products developed in Germany have a main rotor which turns counter-clockwise when viewed from above, in common with American rotorcraft.

See also[edit]

Comparable major helicopter manufacturers:


  1. ^ "Bruno Even Appointed CEO of Airbus Helicopters". (Press release). 14 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Legal Notice and Disclaimer Archived 12 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.." Airbus Helicopters. Retrieved on 24 January 2014. "[...]whose registered Office is located Aéroport International Marseille-Provence – 13725 Marignane Cedex – France"
  3. ^ Airbus Helicopters
  4. ^ Airbus Helicopters history Archived 14 January 2014 at
  5. ^ "Landing on Air". National Geographic Adventure. 1 September 2005. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
  6. ^ "Everest 2005: The Helicopter land on Everest with video: But it is good?". Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  7. ^ "French Everest Mystery Chopper's Utopia summit". 27 May 2005. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015.
  8. ^ Airbus Helicopters – Spain Archived 16 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Airbus Helicopters – Interactive Network Map Archived 15 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Rüstung: EU beschließt Bau von Helikopter" (in German). Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  11. ^ Airbus Helicopters – Who We are Archived 14 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Airbus Helicopters aims high with new branding and a strategic transformation Archived 3 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ " New dynamic testing method at Airbus brings helicopters to market quickly". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  14. ^
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "PARIS: Airbus Helicopters launches X6 concept phase". 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  17. ^ ",-setting-the-standard-for-the-future-in-heavy-lift-rotorcraft_1771.html". Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  18. ^ "Airbus renames fleet". Vertical Magazine. April 2015. p. 36. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.

External links[edit]