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News > American Eurocopter Celebrates 40 Years of Investment, Leadership, and Growth in U.S.


American Eurocopter Celebrates 40 Years of Investment, Leadership, and Growth in U.S.

July 10, 2009

Grand Prairie, Texas – Today, American Eurocopter celebrated 40 years of leadership and growth in the United States with a special anniversary event at the company headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The “All-American Celebration” commemorated the company’s significant growth and achievements since it was founded in 1969, when Aerospatiale and LTV Aerospace formed Vought Helicopter in Texas. Since that time, the company has developed into one of the most successful helicopter companies in the nation with a tremendous impact on the local community as well as the U.S. rotorcraft industry.

40 years of investment, leadership, and growth

The company employs more than 750 U.S. employees, with well over 500 located in Grand Prairie and the rest at facilities in Columbus, Mississippi. These employees include engineers, production technicians, program specialists and administrators in manufacturing, marketing, technical support and training for an exceptionally robust product line in the United States. The company’s facilities in Grand Prairie and Columbus generate about $740 million annually in total economic impact in the United States and support over 1,000 suppliers nationwide. Recent additions in Grand Prairie include new delivery and training centers, including a full-motion flight simulator, a Customer Service and Fleet Operations Center, and a two-story avionics shop and engineering center.

American Eurocopter is the market share leader in the U.S. rotorcraft industry and has been the number one company for the last nine years. This success reflects the company’s development as well as its strong organization, product design and planning. The company is the U.S. arm of Eurocopter Group, the world’s largest helicopter manufacturer, and it is also a subsidiary of EADS North America.

“Eurocopter is focused on designing, building and delivering industry-leading helicopters and services,” explains Dr. Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of Eurocopter Group. “American Eurocopter’s success in the United States represents our commitment to bringing technologically advanced products to the largest commercial and military market in the world. We are proud of these achievements, of the increasing role our American arm plays in the group and of this 40-year celebration.”

“We take pride in our U.S. heritage and the role our operations have played in our growth and leadership in the rotorcraft industry,” said Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter. “It has been a great 40 years — and the best is yet to come.”

Today in the United States, almost 500 federal and state government and private operators rely on more than 1,800 American Eurocopter rotorcraft, and these totals are growing rapidly. Last year, the company delivered 135 commercial helicopters plus 35 UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters to the U.S. Army.

“Our products have consistently captured half the U.S. law enforcement market, and nearly 50 state and local agencies rely on our helicopters to protect and save lives and property,” Paganini said. “We are proud of our role in supporting these important missions, just as we are proud of our rapidly growing defense presence.”

One of American Eurocopter’s most significant accomplishments in this decade was the award of the U.S. Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter program to EADS North America in 2006.

"American Eurocopter’s 40-year anniversary is a significant achievement and a reflection of EADS’ commitment to the U.S. economy and the nation's security," said Ralph D. Crosby, EADS North America chairman and CEO. "For four decades American Eurocopter has played a vital role in providing superior products in support of our nation's defense and creating high-value U.S. jobs - a proud tradition that will continue for decades to come."

Additional production and sales opportunities to the U.S. Army and Navy remain strong. EADS North America, supported by American Eurocopter and Lockheed Martin, is ready to provide the Armed Scout 645, a variant of the EC145/UH-72 that will meet or exceed the U.S. Army’s current armed scout mission requirements. EADS North America and American Eurocopter have already proven that they can deliver a highly capable, U.S.-built utility helicopter to the U.S. Army on or ahead of schedule and on cost.

After 40 years, American Eurocopter’s “employees, proven products, growing markets and full-spectrum quality will keep the company at the forefront of the U.S. rotorcraft industry for decades to come,” Paganini said.

A crowd of over 1,000 guests including the company’s workforce attended the “All- American Celebration,” along with a range of government officials, helicopter industry and customer VIPs. The event featured static displays, sky divers and aerial demonstrations of Eurocopter’s historic models and their exciting and technologically advanced product line.

About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. 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 is a helicopter manufacturer and the company markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public 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, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS and its West Coast Regional Support Facility in Long Beach, CA.

About Eurocopter
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.


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