Airbus Helicopters

Airbus Helicopters
Industry Aerospace
Founded 1992 (1992)
Headquarters Marseille Provence Airport
Marignane, France
Key people
Guillaume Faury (CEO)
Products Helicopters
Revenue €6.3 billion (2013)
Number of employees
Parent Airbus Group
Subsidiaries Subsidiaries

Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter Group) is the helicopter manufacturing division of Airbus Group. It is the largest in the industry in terms of revenues and turbine helicopter deliveries. Its head office is located at Marseille Provence Airport in Marignane, France, near Marseille.[1] The main facilities of Airbus Helicopters are at its headquarters in Marignane, France and in Donauwörth, Germany, with additional production plants in Brazil (Itajubá,MG), Australia, Spain and the United States. The company was renamed Airbus Helicopters on 2 January 2014.[2]


Airbus Helicopters was formed in 1992 as Eurocopter Group, through the merger of the helicopter divisions of Aérospatiale and DASA. The company's heritage traces back to Blériot and Lioré et Olivier in France and to Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf in Germany.[3]

Airbus Helicopters and its predecessor companies have established a wide range of helicopter firsts, including the first production turboshaft-powered helicopter (the Aérospatiale 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 NHIndustries 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).[4][5][6]

Eurocopter logo before rebranding to Airbus Helicopters

As a consequence of the merger of Airbus Helicopters' former parents in 2000, the firm is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus Group. The creation of what was then called 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.

Today, Airbus Helicopters has four main plants in Europe (Marignane and La Courneuve in France, and Donauwörth and Kassel in Germany), plus 32 subsidiaries and participants around the world, including those in Brisbane, Australia, Albacete, Spain and Grand Prairie, USA.[7][8]

As of 2014, more than 12,000 Airbus Helicopters were in service with over 3,000 customers in around 150 countries.[9]

Eurocopter sold 422 helicopters in 2013 and delivered 497 helicopters that year.[10] In 2014, AH built a concrete cylinder for testing helicopters before first flight.[11]

Structural evolution of Airbus Group
    10 July 2000 1 December 2006 1 April 2009 17 September 2010 17 January 2014 27 May 2015
Aérospatiale-Matra, DASA CASA European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company NV Airbus Group NV Airbus Group SE   
Airbus Military Airbus Defence and Space   
  EADS Defence and Security Cassidian
Matra Marconi Space, DASA, CRISA Astrium EADS Astrium
   Eurocopter Group Airbus Helicopters   


When the division changed its name from Eurocopter Group to Airbus Helicopters in 2014 the trade names of the products were changed (applied by 1 January 2016) to reflect this. Suffixes, as well as the differentiation for single or twin engines, were no longer to be used. Military versions were to be symbolized by the letter M. The only exceptions to this new branding were the AS350 B2, AS635 and 565, the EC145e, the AS332 and 532, the Tiger and the NH90, which will keep their current names.:[12]

Previous trade name New trade name Description
Civil/military Civil Military
EC120 B H120
AS350 B2 AS350 B2
AS350 B3e H125
AS550 C3e H125M
EC130 T2 H130
EC135 T3/P3 H135
EC635 T2e/P2e H135M
EC145e EC145
EC145 T2 H145
EC645 T2 H145M
AS365 N3+ AS365 N3+
AS565 MBe AS565 MBe
EC155 B1 H155
X4 H160
EC175 H175
AS332 C1e AS332 C1e
AS332 L1e AS332 L1e
AS532 ALe AS532 ALe
EC225e H225
EC725 H225M
NH90 NH90
Tigre (EC665) Tiger

Some of the helicopters were renamed in 2015, resembling Airbus airplane naming.[16]

Note: On Airbus Helicopters aircraft designed in France, the main rotor turns clockwise when viewed from above, in common with rotorcraft deriving from Russia. Airbus Helicopters products developed in Germany have a main rotor which turns counter-clockwise when viewed from above, in common with American rotorcraft.


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