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News > 40 years of success: The result of American Eurocopter’s international origins and a global industrial approach

40 years of success: The result of American Eurocopter’s international origins and a global industrial approach

July 10, 2009

American Eurocopter’s international aerospace industry roots have been a key contributor to its success during the past four decades, and will continue to place the company at the forefront of the helicopter sector for years to come.

40th anniversary of Helicopter ceremony
American Eurocopter President and CEO Marc Paganini receives a ceremonial key to the city of Grand Prairie from Mayor Charles England during the 40th anniversary ceremonies.

This was the message of numerous participants in American Eurocopter’s 40th anniversary celebration today, which brought together company managers, employees, customers and government officials at its Grand Prairie, Texas headquarters.

“Our story is about the strength of American aerospace and its leading role in the global industry,” said Marc Paganini, the President and CEO of American Eurocopter, adding the company’s achievements are the result of “what is possible when the best of American aerospace and its exceptional workforce is paired with the innovation, technology, energy and opportunity that is prevalent throughout the global aerospace community.”

Paganini noted that American Eurocopter’s market success in the U.S. civilian, law enforcement and government sectors has supported the company’s growth from an original 43 employees when its predecessor organization was founded in1969, to more than 750 today.

This growth has been accompanied by a significant expansion of American Eurocopter’s presence at its Grand Prairie, Texas headquarters operation, along with the creation of a major manufacturing and assembly line facility at Columbus, Mississippi. 

Paganini said American Eurocopter will continue to evolve its infrastructure to serve the U.S. operator base, and noted that a new customer service center was inaugurated at Grand Prairie this morning – just prior to today’s 40th anniversary celebration.

Another priority of American Eurocopter is working with its local communities in Texas and Mississippi to ensure the existence of a “culture of aerospace excellence for decades to come.”  As part of this commitment, the company is actively involved with schools and institutions of higher learning, offering cooperative educational opportunities for those who will become the aerospace industry managers, engineers and production personnel of the future.

Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of the company’s Eurocopter Group parent organization, said American Eurocopter’s development over the past four decades has been “driven by the American spirit of enterprise and a desire to participate in the rapidly-growing U.S. helicopter market through investments, as well as superior products and services.”

Skydivers Deliver Airbus Banner
A skydiver delivers the American Eurocopter banner during the aerial demonstration that followed today’s 40th anniversary celebration at the company’s Grand Prairie headquarters.

He added that American Eurocopter proved to be an early example of the benefits that can be derived from aerospace globalization.   Starting from an annual delivery rate of some 40 aircraft soon after American Eurocopter’s predecessor was created in 1969, the company’s total deliveries reached 1,000 helicopters in 1987, and today have passed the 2,500 mark.

“This is the result of a journey of international product and investment synergy that has resulted in a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts,” Bertling told attendees at today’s celebration.  “The initial seed that was planted has grown and changed over the years into a company that is the leading provider of helicopters in the U.S., including the law enforcement and emergency medical services sectors.  And today, the military customer increasingly is turning to us for aircraft to meet its requirements.”

Bertling said the Eurocopter Group and American Eurocopter are looking to the future with a commitment to maintain their significant investments as they offer the best mission capability for customers with innovative products and services. 

“This is why we will continue to expand our presence in the U.S. and, as an international group, is why we intend to achieve at least one first flight per year for a new product, a major upgrade or a technology demonstrator,” he concluded.  “This is what we want people to understand when they think of American Eurocopter – a name that reflects our personality that is global and American at the same time.  American Eurocopter is truly an endeavor of shared goals, standards and a drive that transcends borders.”

For additional coverage of American Eurocopter’s 40th anniversary event:

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