Eurocopter

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The Eurocopter Group is a global helicopter manufacturing and support company. It is the largest in the industry in terms of revenues and turbine helicopter deliveries.[citation needed] Its head office is located on the property of Marseille-Provence International Airport in Marignane, France, near Marseille.[1] Eurocopter's main facilities are at its headquarters in Marignan, at Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH in Donauwörth, Germany and at Eurocopter España in Albacete, Spain. The company also has a network of 24 subsidiaries, including production facilities in Australia, Brazil and the USA.[2]

Contents

History

The Eurocopter Group was formed in 1992 through the merger of the helicopter divisions of Aérospatiale and Daimler-Benz Aerospace AG (DASA). The company's heritage traces back to Blériot and Lioré et Olivier in France and to Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf in Germany.[3]

Eurocopter and its predecessor companies have established a wide range of helicopter 'firsts', including the first production turboshaft-powered helicopter (the Alouette II of 1955); the introduction of the Fenestron shrouded tail rotor (on the Gazelle of 1968); the first helicopter certified for full flight in icing conditions (the AS332 Super Puma, in 1984); the first production helicopter with a Fly-by-Wire control system (the NH90, first flown in full FBW mode in 2003); the first helicopter to use a Fly-by-Light primary control system (an EC135 testbed, first flown in 2003); and the first ever landing of a helicopter on Mt. Everest (achieved by an AS350 B3 in 2005).

As a consequence of the merger of the Eurocopter Group's former parents in 2000, the firm is now a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS. The creation of EADS in 2000 also incorporated CASA of Spain, which itself had a history of helicopter-related activities dating back to Talleres Loring, including local assembly of the Bo105.

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