February 25, 2011: Australian Aerospace Limited, supported by the world’s largest helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter, brings an impressive line-up of aircraft from their rotary-wing family to the 2011 Australian International Air Show at Avalon next week.
A total of seven helicopters will be at Avalon, ranging in size from the smallest family member, the Eurocopter EC120B Colibri, to the largest, the world’s most advanced military helicopter in the 10 tonne class, the MRH90. Others in the static line-up display will include the seven-passenger EC130B4, the light, multi-purpose EC135 twin-engine now in service with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and two versions of the six-passenger AS350 design. Additionally, a second EC130 will operate shuttle flights between Avalon and Melbourne.
Australian Aerospace is the Australia-Pacific region’s leading supplier of civil and military helicopters and aerospace services, including fixed-wing military maintenance and support. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eurocopter which, itself, is part of the European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Company (EADS).
In addition to its commercial helicopter activities, Australian Aerospace currently is assembling and delivering 22 Tiger ARH Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters to the Australian Army and 46 MRH90 Multi-Role Helicopters to the Army and Navy. It is also a contender for the new combat helicopter for the Australian Navy, offering the NH90 NFH Naval Frigate Helicopter now entering service worldwide.
“The two years since the last Avalon Air Show has been a period of both achievement and challenge for Australian Aerospace,” says Chief Executive, Dr Jens Goennemann, “during which time we have significantly expanded our industrial footprint in Australia and the region. The company now employs more than 1,100 people across 14 sites in Adelaide, Bankstown, Brisbane, Darwin, Ingleburn, Moorabbin, Oakey, Redcliffe, Richmond, Sydney, Townsville and Auckland.
“On the Civil side of our business, Australian Aerospace continued to hold the No. 1 Position in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, during what has been a period of challenging economic conditions. Australian Aerospace managed to achieve its main economic targets, and while the market for new helicopters in Australia and New Zealand remained flat throughout 2010, the company still delivered 19 helicopters, which was in line with its projections.
“In terms of future orders 2011 could prove to be the most difficult year since the Global Financial Crisis first hit,” Dr Goennemann said, “due to tight credit and conservative investment conditions and a sales pool of near-new aircraft across the region.
“On the Military side, we have delivered the 15th Tiger ARH helicopter to the Australian Army and the 13th MRH90 helicopter to the Army and Navy,” he said, “and with the strong commitment of the Queensland Government, we believe we have also made a convincing case for the NH90 NFH to be chosen as the Navy’s new combat helicopter. The NFH offers superior operational capabilities and a compelling industrial proposal.”
To support operations at its helicopter Final Assembly Line on Brisbane Airport, Australian Aerospace last year acquired full-ownership of Brisbane-based Australian Aerospace Composites Pty Ltd, which produces ultra-strong, light-weight components for NH90, Tiger and Super Puma military helicopters, delivering into Eurocopter’s global supply chain.
Australian Aerospace also teamed with the world’s largest tyre manufacturer, Michelin, to win a Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) contract to manufacture and supply tyres for the F/A18 Hornets, and the AP-3C Orion patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
“However, our Military business has not been without its challenges,” Dr. Goennemann said, “most notably returning the MRH90 helicopter to normal operational status with the Australian Defence Force (ADF).”
Following an incident in South Australia last year Australian Aerospace and Eurocopter have been working closely with engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce Turbomecca, to identify the cause and find a solution.
“We have been successful in that endeavour, and the Commonwealth has accepted our technical analysis which will lead to a solution enabling the ADF to return its MRH90s to the full schedule of flying and testing,” he said.
Eurocopter aircraft on display at Avalon this year comprise:
In addition to the static display (site EW-E13), large (scale 1/5) models of two other helicopters – the NH90 NFH and an EC635 - will also be featured on the EADS free-standing exhibit inside Exhibition Hall A. The Australian Aerospace Chalet (site N-17), adjacent to the static display line, will also exhibit a scale model of the latest member of the Eurocopter family – the exclusive EC145 Mercedes Benz, featuring an elegant and versatile interior styled on the Mercedes Benz GL Class motor vehicle. To highlight the partnership with Mercedes Benz, two vehicles will be on display with the helicopters.
Attention Media: The Australian Aerospace Media briefing will be held at the Australian Aerospace Chalet (N-17) on Thursday, March 03, commencing at 11.00 a.m.
About Australian Aerospace
Australian Aerospace Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurocopter - a part of the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Group (EADS). Created in 2003 through the merger of Eurocopter International Pacific Limited and Australian Aerospace Pty Ltd, the company has evolved into a major defence supplier to the Australian Government. With more than 1000 staff in Australia and New Zealand and access to the financial strength and expertise of Eurocopter and the EADS Group, the company is About Australian Aerospace well-positioned to manufacture and support civil and military helicopters in the Australia-Pacific region. In addition to its helicopter capabilities, Australian Aerospace has a long history of support to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Currently it is assembling and delivering 22 Tiger ARH armed reconnaissance helicopters to the Australian Army and 46 MRH90 multi-role helicopters to the Army and Navy. It also provides support for the RAAF AP3C Orion reconnaissance aircraft and, until recently, the now retired Caribou transport fleet. Last year it commenced a through-life-support role for C-130J Hercules transports. The company is also involved in supporting the RAAF’s new Airbus A330-based Multi-Role Tanker-Transport (MRTT) aircraft.
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 approximately 15,600 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.8 billion euros; orders for 346 new helicopters; and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the group’s products account for 33 percent of the total world civil and parapublic helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 27 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. There are 11,200 Eurocopter helicopters currently in service with nearly 2,900 customers in 147 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.
Nathan Pick, Manager Corporate Communications, Tel: 61 (0) 439 676 909
Ted Porter, Media Relations Consultant, Tel: 61 (0) 418 468 269