Eurocopter UK receives first ever UK helicopter order for offshore wind farm maintenance

Eurocopter UK is delighted to announce the first UK order for a wind farm maintenance helicopter in the UK

Oxford, (PresseBox) - Bond Air Services has ordered an EC135 for maintenance work at the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm starting end of 2009.

The EC135 will be used for maintenance operations, including delivery of personnel and complex equipment by winch at the Greater Gabbard wind farm located approx 20 miles of the East Anglia Coast from end of 2009 onwards.

Bond Air Services is the largest UK operator of EC135 helicopters, providing support for marine activities, including transport, maintenance and monitoring missions, emergency medical services, police aerial support operations, media and executive charter services.

The Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm will consist of 140 3.6MW wind turbines and will be located around two sand banks known as Inner Gabbard and The Galloper in the North Sea, off the Suffolk Coast. When the project is completed, by the end of 2010, it is expected to be the largest wind farm in the world.

Markus Steinke, Managing Director of Eurocopter UK commented:

"As the UK's leading supplier of police and emergency rescue helicopters, Eurocopter UK is proud that its innovative solutions are now also contributing to the growth and viability of efficient alternative energy production. The reliability and enhanced capabilities of the EC135 helicopter make it the ideal safe and economical solution for operators in this exciting new growth area. As the UK becomes one of the largest offshore wind energy producers in the world, Eurocopter UK is looking forward to playing its part as a long term partner in the growth of eco-efficient energy generation. Once again helicopters are making missions possible that would be next to impossible otherwise."

The twin-engined EC135 is a multi mission aircraft which is used worldwide in a range of on and off shore operations, including offshore transport, police missions and search and rescue operations. The EC 135 is a market leader in its field, with more than 750 units delivered to 160 clients in 40 countries since its launch in 1995. The helicopter provides outstanding one- engine inoperative performance, excellent lateral stability and capability for right or left of the cabin winching in adverse weather conditions, which is a requirement for successful wind-farm maintenance operations.

Airbus Helicopters

Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 14,000 people. In 2007, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover exceeding 4 billion Euros, orders for 802 new helicopters, and a 53 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group's products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 17 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,000 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.

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