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News > Helicopter technology on parade at American Eurocopter's 40th anniversary air show

Helicopter technology on parade at American Eurocopter's 40th anniversary air show

July 10, 2009

American Eurocopter’s 40th anniversary celebration provided a unique moment in aviation history with flight demonstrations of helicopters that ranged from the ground-breaking Alouette and Gazelle to the current-production AS350, EC120 and EC145.

The following photos highlight the aerial presentation at American Eurocopter’s Grand Prairie, Texas headquarters facility.  (Click on the images for a larger version):

Demo Flight for Airbus Helicopters
An Alouette II owned by Airborne Imaging, Inc. hovers at the completion of its performance, while a Lama from the fleet of Roberts Aircraft Co. begins to make its approach for landing.  The Alouette II was the world’s first production rotary-wing aircraft powered by a gas turbine engine, and the helicopter participating in today’s flight demonstration originally entered service with the German military in 1969 and flew with the country’s border police.  The Lama was designed for “hot and high” operating conditions, and the helicopter brought to American Eurocopter’s celebration at Grand Prairie is one of six currently operated by Roberts Aircraft.

Gazaelle Airbus Helicopters tail rotor
The Gazelle introduced the distinctive Eurocopter Fenestron tail rotor, and has an excellent track record in civil applications and military duties – including combat operations in the Falklands conflict and the Gulf War.  Taking part in American Eurocopter’s anniversary air show was a Gazelle built in 1978, which is owned by Rotor Leasing.   Painted in British Royal Air Force colors, the career of this Gazelle included service in a variety of missions with the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, and Marines, as well as the British Army. 

demo flight the EC145
A pair of EC145s maneuvers during today’s flight demonstration, spotlighting two of the twin-engine helicopter’s key uses: air medical transportation and multi-role operations with the U.S. Army.  In the foreground is American Eurocopter’s UH-72A Lakota demonstrator for the U.S. Army, which is expected to order up to 345 Lakotas for its Light Utility Helicopter mission.  Joining it is one of six EC145s flown by Memorial Hermann Life Flight for MEDEVAC service in the Houston, Texas area. 

Patriotic  EC120 and two AS350s
Proudly wearing their red, white and blue paint schemes, an EC120 and two AS350s make a formation flyby during the anniversary air show.   Both helicopter types are widely used on law enforcement and homeland security missions, in addition to civil operations such as corporate and utility transport.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a large customer for the EC120 and AS350, building up major fleets for use in surveillance and security patrols of America’s border regions.


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

View the Feature archive.

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