LAAD 2011 Defense Show To Expand Presence In
By Steve Hall
April 13, 2011 - The high-profile presence of Eurocopter
at this week’s LAAD Defense & Security 2011 exhibition
Among the helicopters spotlighted on Helibras’ exhibit is the twin-engine EC725 Cougar helicopter, which is being acquired by the Brazilian Armed Forces and will be built in a new center of excellence created at its Itajubá facility in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.
Eurocopter parent company also is participating in the LAAD 2011 event, presenting an overview of its rotary-wing aircraft family on the stand of EADS.
only Brazilian helicopter manufacturer, Helibras has the
capability of producing a variety of aircraft in Eurocopter’s
product line. It supplies over 50 percent of the country’s
turbine-powered helicopters – having delivered more than 500
aircraft in its 33 years of operation to meet the requirements
of governmental, military and civil customers.
is on the way to becoming a cornerstone in Eurocopter’s global
industrial base, with all the skills necessary for helicopter
manufacturing, assembly, integration, upgrades and support,”
said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. “Our presence in
Helibras is preparing for the assembly of EC725s, which the
Brazilian government contracted in 2008 to acquire 50
helicopters for transport and civil security missions.
Construction is underway on Helibras’ new EC725 production
factory for completion in 2012 – doubling the company’s
employment, bringing total staff to approximately 1,000.
The EC725 is Eurocopter’s latest member of the Super Puma/Cougar helicopter family. In addition to building this 11-metric-ton-class rotary-wing aircraft at Itajubá, Helibras is to become involved in such industrial activities as the manufacture of EC725 tailbooms and electrical harness, plus the assembly of gearboxes. Helibras also is working with Brazilian companies to develop a local supply chain, and it is supporting the acceleration of in-country technical and university courses for aeronautics and aerospace.
At this week’s
LAAD 2011 defense and security show, Helibras also is exhibiting the
AS550A2 Fennec, operated by the Brazilian Army Aviation Command – and
which will be modernized by the company in a program that incorporates a
tailored complement of armament, a new glass cockpit, an Automatic
Flight Control System (AFCS) with autopilot, and the installation of
improved pilot seats for enhanced crash protection.
multi-purpose AS550/AS350 entered service with the Brazilian Army
Aviation Command more than two decades ago, and Helibras’ upgrade
program will ensure the continued operation of these helicopters for at
least 25 additional years. As part of the LAAD 2011 exhibition, Helibras
will be showing the AS350/AS550’s new instrument panel layout, which
incorporates three large multifunction liquid crystal displays and is
being developed by the company in cooperation with France’s Sagem and
the Brazilian firm Aeroeletrônica.
produced more than 400 AS350s for the South American market. The
helicopter’s modernization also can be applied to the large inventory of
AS350 Ecureuils operating throughout
Included on Helibras’ LAAD 2011 exhibit stand as well will be a single-engine EC130 fitted with an aeromedical kit, along with a twin-engine HM-1 Pantera helicopter – the version of Eurocopter’s AS565 Panther in service with the Brazilian Army.
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