LONDON – On 8 July, Airbus Helicopters made a historical milestone of delivering the 7,000th helicopter from the Airbus Ecureuil family. The Ecureuil or ‘Squirrel’ family is a light single-engine family of Airbus helicopters and has its assembly based in Marignane, France.
The 7,000th helicopter was handed over to Blugeon Hélicoptères, a French-based company with expertise on sling work at high altitudes.
Blugeon, being a French company is loyal to Airbus Helicopters. Before the handing over of this historical airframe, the company already has an existing fleet of five H125 ‘Squirrels’. These helicopters are scattered throughout three bases in the French Alps, and the fourth base is located in the Pyrenees.
These bases are geared toward the missions that these helicopters are designed for, and that is to perform power line surveillance, filmmaking, preventive avalanche maintenance, mountain rescue, large-scale hoisting, and ad-hoc charter services.
The helicopter flies an average of 600 hours per year on these specialised and advanced missions.
Christian Blugeon, CEO and founder of Blugeon Helicoptères stated with excitement: “Blugeon is proud to take delivery of this new H125, the sixth one in our fleet. I’m especially proud of this shared milestone as this particular helicopter is the 7,000th Ecureuil manufactured by Airbus.”
“I have been flying the H125 for more than 20 years, and have accumulated a lot of experience with this helicopter with which we have already flown almost 45,000 hours. It is a key element of our development strategy. ”
Axel Aloccio, Head of the Light Helicopters programme at Airbus Helicopters, stated, ” Since the first Ecureuil took to the skies in 1974, this family of aircraft forever changed the light helicopter market and the way aerial work is performed.”
“Designed to be a simple, practical, and competitive aircraft, the secret of its success lies in its excellent performance and its incredible ability to adapt to operators’ needs. It is precisely thanks to the confidence of operators like Blugeon that we are celebrating the milestone of the 7,000th delivery today.”
Being a light helicopter of the Airbus family arm, the Ecureuil operates in 124 countries with 2,014 customers globally. The light helicopter family comprises the H125 and the H130 in the civilian helicopter market.
These helicopters are meant to fly for aerial work, charter services for leisure and business traffic and EMS (Emergency Medical Services).
There is also a military version of the H125 family, and that is called the H125M, which is suitable for surveillance missions or light attacks. The H125 could also be used for training platforms for both civilians and army platforms.
Since 2005, the helicopter has made a very impressive milestone. The Ecureuil submitted the tip of Mount Everest, by Didier Delsalle. It is the only helicopter in the world to do so.