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News > Papillon Buys 7 EC130B4s, Rainier Heli-Lift Buys 5 B2s and 5 EC145s

Papillon Buys 7 EC130B4s, Rainier Heli-Lift Buys 5 B2s and 5 EC145s

February 25, 2008

The Halvorson family’s Papillon Airways Inc., the world’s largest helicopter tour operator, is purchasing 7 Eurocopter EC130B4s, with an option for 8 more. Meanwhile, the Halvorson family’s Rainier Heli-Lift, the Kirkland, WA corporation that provides charter services for the natural resources sector, firefighting, government contracting and business travel, is buying 5 AS350B2s and 5 EC145s from American Eurocopter. 
“The 7 new B4s will be supplementing our ‘flightseeing’ fleet over the Grand Canyon,” says Lon Halvorson, EVP of Papillon and CEO of Rainier Heli-Lift. “They offer quiet, comfortable transport for our clients, plus great views through the B4's big windows. As well, the B4's low noise emissions makes it popular with federal Park officials, who are always concerned about disturbing wildlife in the Grand Canyon.” 
“The new B2s will take over for some of our existing Rainier Heli-Lift B2s, which will be rotated to other duties,” Halvorson continues. “The EC145s are aimed at our offshore and international clients. Their extra space, lifting capacity, and IFR capabilities make them well suited for these missions and EMS, as well.” 
The EC130B4 is equipped with a Turbomeca ARRIEL 2B1 turbine engine. It comes with a dual channel digital engine control system (FADEC), and a back-up control box that automatically manages the engine in the unlikely case of both FADEC digital channels failing. The EC130B4 has a fast cruise speed of 130 knots, and a range of 329 nm with no reserves. 
The AS350B2 is powered by a 732 shp Turbomeca ARRIEL 1D1 engine. It has room for a pilot and up to 6 passengers, and is known as an economical and reliable workhorse. The medium-lift EC145 has space for up to 9 passengers plus a pilot. It is equipped with two Turbomeca ARRIEL engines and comes with a modern MEGHAS glass cockpit, optional IFR configuration with digital autopilot for both single or dual pilot applications and a duration of almost four hours. 
“Eurocopter builds reliable, safe, and mission-flexible helicopters,” says Halvorson. “They help us provide the very best service to our varied customer base.” 
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, 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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