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News > American Eurocopter to Significantly Expand its Helicopter Engineering Capacity

American Eurocopter to Significantly Expand its Helicopter Engineering Capacity

February 22, 2009

Anaheim, Heli-Expo 2009 – American Eurocopter is more than doubling its helicopter engineering capabilities in response to the company’s growing U.S. government and commercial rotorcraft business, and to meet the increasing demand for full-service engineering solutions from across its customer base. As a result, American Eurocopter will establish a robust U.S.-based engineering capability that covers such disciplines as technical project management, avionics design, electrical load analysis, structural analysis, systems integration and certification for primary and secondary structural components and assemblies.

This new initiative involves the hiring of another 25-30 highly-qualified engineers and certification personnel, bringing American Eurocopter’s total engineering staff to 60, and employment to an all-time high of more than 800. The increased engineering activity also will create new high-value business for company suppliers throughout the country. “This represents an important extension of our Group’s capabilities in the strategic U.S. marketplace, where American Eurocopter already has established itself as an industry leader in the supply of helicopters for civil, para-military, governmental and homeland security applications,” said Lutz Bertling, President & CEO of the Eurocopter Group. Most of the new hires will be located in the rotorcraft engineering center at American Eurocopter’s Grand Prairie, Texas, headquarters. They will provide a pool of experienced personnel that extends the engineering capacity of American Eurocopter’s parent Eurocopter Group.

“Our expanded engineering capability will position American Eurocopter as a key player in rotorcraft design, certification and systems integration, as well as the implementation of modifications and repairs for government and commercial helicopters here in the U.S.,” said American Eurocopter President & CEO Marc Paganini. “It also boosts our staffing with additional highly skilled jobs that create added-value in the U.S. marketplace.” American Eurocopter has applied for Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, replacing the Designated Alteration Station (DAS) authority that it currently holds. This will enable the company to directly manage its certification and Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) activity, reporting to the FAA.

Allen F. Andress, American Eurocopter’s Vice President of Operations, explained that the increased engineering capacity marks the next step in American Eurocopter’s evolution from its origins as a U.S. modifications and completions center into a full-service engineering organization for complex, mission-capable helicopters. “It builds on the efforts our company initiated in 2006 with the U.S. Army’s UH-72A Light Utility Helicopter program, and will position us to better support our customers’ needs on emerging opportunities in the future,” Andress added.

Hiring of the new engineering and certification employees will begin this year and continue into 2010, with their introduction into the American Eurocopter system supported by program indoctrination, training and qualification.

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.

For more information on American Eurocopter’s presence at HELI-EXPO 2009, see the related coverage from Anaheim, California:

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