Metro Aviation of Shreveport, La. has contracted to purchase six EC145e twin-engine helicopters from Airbus Helicopters Inc. Metro is the first North American customer for this new lighter weight and lower cost version of the highly successful Airbus Helicopters EC145.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. and Metro have launched an extensive North America demonstration tour to show operators the capability of the EC145e to perform air medical, law enforcement, utility, and other missions. The tour features the first EC145e equipped with a Metro Aviation developed and certified air medical equipment package and air conditioning system.
“Airbus Helicopters Inc. is excited that Metro Aviation has demonstrated its confidence in our company and Airbus Helicopters products by making such a strong commitment to the EC145e,” said President Christopher Emerson. “With its lower acquisition price and increased payload capacity, the EC145e offers operators an aircraft that can increase productivity and provide more economic value.”
The first phase of the EC145e demonstration tour will continue through September. The aircraft will be available for demonstration flights at the Air Medical Transport Conference, Oct. 19-21 in Long Beach. A second phase of the demonstration tour will begin after AMTC and continue through mid-November.
The EC145e is a single-pilot, VFR aircraft that retains the power, performance and reliability of the EC145 and has the same large cabin with rear clamshell doors for easy, safe loading and unloading. The EC145e glass cockpit features the Garmin G500H and GTN 650 GPS and communication system. It has a maximum take-off weight of 7,903 pounds, the same as the EC145, but the useful load is up to 300 pounds greater. The aircraft can seat up to 11 passengers, depending on the configuration.
“The EC145e is a versatile aircraft that will be a great fit for a diverse group of customers,” said Metro Aviation Managing Director Milton Geltz. “Our completion center has the expertise to equip the EC145e for a wide range of mission profiles. The versatility and price point of the EC145e make it an attractive addition to a large number of rotor wing fleets.”
Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency have certified the EC145e.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry’s most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, serving all markets and missions. The company’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.