Airbus Helicopters today unveiled the latest member of its Super Puma helicopter family: the multi-mission AS332 C1e utility workhorse version, which comes with a standardized equipment definition for more rapid production times and cost-effective acquisition prices.
The unveiling occurred at the 2014 Heli-Expo industry show in Anaheim, California, where the first production AS332 C1e is being displayed in the livery of launch customer Starlite Aviation Group. This helicopter will be received by Starlite Aviation next month, and follows Airbus Helicopters’ delivery of the no. 2 AS332 C1e last week to the operator, which will use it under Irish registry on a utility and medevac contract for EULEX – the European Union Rule of Law Mission deployed in Kosovo
According to Starlite Aviation CEO Slade Thomas, “Starlite Aviation Group is extremely proud to take delivery of the first of the new Super Puma AS332 C1e helicopters. At Starlite we know the demands of commercial medium-heavy utility sector and we are delighted to be taking delivery of new equipment to help us continue with our growth across four continents. Being the launch customer of this new Super Puma is a measure of our faith in Airbus Helicopters.”
“Having Starlite Aviation as the launch customer is a strong endorsement of the AS332 C1e,” explained Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury. “This rotorcraft responds to the need for a robust, modern medium-to-heavy lift helicopter with exceptional performance – and which can be produced rapidly based on a standardized equipment list.”
Starlite Aviation placed its initial order for two firm and two options of the helicopters in November 2012, and has since firmed up the two AS332 C1e options for deliveries this December. These acquisitions, which have been financed by Deutsche Bank, are part of Starlite Aviation’s fleet renewal and expansion program, with the rotorcraft joining an extensive helicopter fleet that currently includes 12 Airbus Helicopters SA330 Pumas.
The AS332 C1e offers versatility across a full range of utility missions, especially in hot-and-high environments, as well as missions requiring a small footprint while delivering a significant lift capability such as the vertical replenishment of ships.
Included in its standard equipment list is the four-axis autopilot and associated automatic flight control system from Airbus Helicopters’ EC225 Super Puma helicopter, which provides flight envelope protection, unrivalled precision, and stability in even the harshest operating conditions. If equipment or systems are required beyond the baseline definition, additional customization can be provided by Airbus Helicopters and its wholly-owned Vector Aerospace company, or the network of subsidiaries and approved partners.
Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is a division of Airbus Group, a global pioneer in aerospace and defense related services. Airbus Helicopters is the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer and employs more than 23,000 people worldwide. With 46 percent market share in civil and parapublic sectors, the company’s fleet in service includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in approximately 150 countries.
Starlite Aviation Group is a multi-faceted global aviation company. Starlite Aviation offers a range of helicopter services on a worldwide basis, through offices in Ireland and South Africa, and its operations on four continents. Starlite supplies a range of aviation services including: relief contract work, oil & gas, passenger and cargo transport, helicopter sales and charter, pilot training, aircraft management, training & maintenance, component overhaul and the supply and distribution of aircraft parts and support equipment. Key international clients include United Nations agencies and the European Union.