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News > Texas DPS Buys Five AS350B2s, One EC145 from American Eurocopter


Texas DPS Buys Five AS350B2s, One EC145 from American Eurocopter

February 24, 2008

The Texas Department of Public Safety (Texas DPS) has purchased five AS350B2s and one EC145 from American Eurocopter. When received, the new aircraft will join the existing Texas DPS fleet of nine AS350B2s in conducting disaster reconnaissance and relief missions in the state, search and rescue, border patrol, and SWAT team transport/insertion by air.  
 
“We are pleased that the Texas DPS has chosen our aircraft to expand their fleet to fulfill their missions to protect the state of Texas,” said Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter. “Our helicopters are flown by over 55 law enforcement agencies across the nation and we look forward to our continuing relationship with the Texas DPS.” 
 
“We decided to buy more helicopters from American Eurocopter to maintain the standardization of our fleet,” says Jack Reichert, the Texas DPS’s Chief Pilot. “They are safe, reliable, and backed by solid customer support. After all, there’s no use in having a great helicopter if you can’t get the after-sales support you need to keep it in top condition.” 
 
The AS350B2 – a.k.a the ‘AStar B2' – has become a prime choice for law enforcement work. It is equipped with a powerful, yet economical 732 shp Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 engine, with room for 6 plus pilot and a sling capacity of more than 2,555 lbs. “The AStar B2 has proven to be a great platform for executing our police mission,” says Reichert. “For instance, the B2 can carry a six-member SWAT team comfortably with everyone facing forward, on a flat floor that maximizes carrying capacity and with a speed and range that works for us.”  
 
The bigger, faster, and heavier-lifting EC145 is a welcome addition to the Texas DPS’s fleet; one that will support an extra level of response by the department’s aerial unit. Powered by two Turbomeca ARRIEL engines, the EC145's standard configuration offers a modern MEGHAS glass cockpit. Meanwhile, an optional IFR configuration with digital autopilot for both single or dual pilot applications, and a duration of almost four hours aloft, a part of what makes the EC145 is a true multi-mission helicopter. This is the version chosen by the Texas DPS. 
 
“Our new EC145 will allow us to transport a larger SWAT team from our headquarters in Austin, Texas, to any part of the state we’re needed,” Reichert says. “As well, the EC145's IFR capability will expand the range of conditions we can fly in.”  
 
“Our goal is to have all of the new Eurocopter helicopters in service by year’s end,” he adds. “With them in place with fully trained crews, the Texas DPS will substantially enhance our ability to serve the public and our department.” 
 
About Eurocopter 
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense 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 centers. 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. 
 
About American Eurocopter 
American Eurocopter is the American subsidiary of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter's headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Mississippi. The company’s first regional support facility, the West Coast Regional Support Facility, is located in Long Beach, California.


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