Press release BoxID: 260564 (Airbus Helicopters)
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Eurocopter to Supply Héli-Union with the First Dauphin N3 Simulator

(PresseBox) (Marignane, ) Eurocopter, the world's leading helicopter manufacturer on the civil and parapublic markets, has signed a contract with Heli-Union to supply the first ever simulator for the Dauphin AS365 N3. Developed and built in partnership with Thales, the simulator will be operational from 2011 at Héli-Union's training center in Angoulême, in the Charente region of France. The project has the support of Angoulême's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).

Derek Sharples, Executive Vice-President for Support and Services at Eurocopter, declared: "This contract is fully in line with our training policy, which is to create a vast network of simulators for the various different aircraft of the Eurocopter range, such as the NH90, the EC135 and the EC225/725. Our aim is to improve flight safety even further by placing simulators as close as possible to our customers so as to offer training programs that meet their specific needs at the most competitive price. The contract to build the first simulator for the Dauphin N3 is a clear example of this policy in action."

Heli-Union CEO Christophe de Courlon described his satisfaction at this new partnership with Eurocopter and Thales: "This project follows up on the one launched a few years ago with the help of the CCI in Angoulême, which led to the development of the Flight Navigation Procedure Trainer (FNPT) developed by Thales. The new simulator which will be built in partnership with Eurocopter, will help us keep our pilots' qualifications up-to-date in order to meet our customers' needs as well as that of the market."

The new flight simulator will be dedicated to the training needs of Heli-Union, and other civil and military customers. It will also have a dual qualification: that of Level 3 Flight Training Device (FTD) and Level B Full Flight Simulator (FFS). The overall target is 3000 hours of training per year-an average of more than eight hours per day.

The simulator will allow operators to perform several types of training, ranging from ab initio and recurrent training to specific programs covering failure procedures, instrument flight rules (IFR), offshore and search & rescue (SAR) operations, night flight (night vision goggles), flights over mountainous regions and low altitude navigation.

Since the aircraft was launched in 1975, more than 950 helicopters from the Dauphin range have been sold in 64 countries. Some 300 customers operate the Dauphin today, including the U.S. Coast Guards, the French Navy, the Brazilian Army and many offshore operators. The aircraft's fantastic reliability, multi-purpose capability and continuously improved state-of-the-art technology make it an automatic choice for a wide range of civil, parapublic and military missions, including oil & gas operations, search & rescue (SAR) assignments, anti-submarine warfare, as well as troop and VIP/corporate passenger transport. The Dauphin's success shows no signs of abating: Approximately 50 Dauphin helicopters are sold each year.

About Héli-Union

Héli-Union, the leading French civil helicopter operator, was created in 1961. The company has a fleet of 30 Dauphin helicopters and its activities range from offshore operations in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America for oil & gas companies, to ab initio pilot training, helicopter maintenance and technical and logistical aircraft support.

About Thales

Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing Aerospace and Space, Defence and Security markets worldwide. The Group's civil and military businesses develop in parallel and share a common base of technologies to serve a single objective: the security of people, property and nations. Thales's leading-edge technology is supported by 22,500 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems. The Group builds its growth on its unique multidomestic strategy based on trusted partnerships with national customers and market players, while leveraging its global expertise to support local technology and industrial development. Thales employs 68,000 people in 50 countries with 2008 revenues of €12.7 billion.

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. 15,600 people. In 2008, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.5 billion Euros, orders for 715 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 18 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 more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.