We get behind the controls of a Magni M16 gyroplane, chat with NASA engineers about the Mars Helicopter, look at Helinet’s firefighting Black Hawk & reflect on the legacy left by Universal Helicopters.
Airbus Helicopters North America is celebrating two milestone anniversaries of operations this year. Airbus Helicopters, Inc., based in Grand Prairie, Texas, is celebrating 50 years of sales and support for U.S. helicopter operators, while Airbus Helicopters Canada Ltd., located in Fort Erie, Ontario, is marking its 35-year milestone.
“For 50 years, our customers and the local communities in which we are based have relied on us as a strong partner for advancing the aviation industry in North America,” said Chris Emerson, head of the North America region. “This represents 50 years of experience, expertise, customer experience, innovation, and technology – a strong foundation that has secured our leadership position today and that will prepare us for success in the next 50 years.”
Airbus Helicopters Inc.’s operations began in the U.S. in 1969 with the establishment of Vought Helicopter, Inc. in Texas, which France’s Aerospatiale took over in 1974. The company opened the doors to its current facilities in Grand Prairie in 1980.
Airbus Helicopters Canada traces its roots to MBB Helicopter Canada Ltd., founded in 1984 in Fort Erie, after successful negotiations between MBB Helicopters, Fleet Aerospace, and the Canadian and Ontario governments.
The U.S. and Canadian companies were renamed American Eurocopter Corporation and Eurocopter Canada Ltd. with the merger of the helicopter divisions of Aerospatiale and MBB to form Eurocopter Group in 1992. In 2003, American Eurocopter opened production facilities in Columbus, Mississippi, and in 2004, Eurocopter Canada expanded its presence in Fort Erie, Ontario and Richmond, British Columbia.
After a series of product development, sales, and delivery milestones, the two companies took on the Airbus branding in 2014 and now comprise a regional organization, Airbus Helicopters North America, which will be celebrating the milestone anniversaries with events and campaigns throughout the year.
Airbus Helicopters is a leading provider of helicopters in North America, with more than 700 customers operating nearly 2,600 aircraft. Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and Airbus Helicopters Canada Ltd. manufacture, market, sell, assemble, support and provide training solutions for Airbus helicopters through two sites in the United States, one in Canada, and a large network of service centers.
With nearly 1,000 skilled and dedicated employees, Airbus Helicopters North America has increased its combined U.S. and Canadian market share in terms of gross bookings to more than 70 percent and is number one in five out of the six main commercial and civil helicopter market segments.