Eurocopter Canada announces sale of 2nd AS350 B3 to V. Kelner Helicopters
AS350 B3 is the “high performance” member of the popular single-engine AS350 family.
Orlando, FL (Heli-Expo) – “The selection of a second AS350 B3 was easy – the aircraft is well suited for our operations in mineral exploration and our customers have come to count on the performance and lift capability” said Frank Kelner, CEO of V. Kelner Helicopters. “The AS350 B3 provides excellent handling characteristics, great visibility and delivers customers with a true multi-mission helicopter,” he added.
V. Kelner Helicopters was established in 2008 and began its operations with an EC120 B from Eurocopter and in 2009 expanded with a new AS350 B3. The company is part of the Kelner Group of aviation companies, which have been serving northern Canada for more than thirty years.
“The AS350 B3 is ideally suited for the demanding Canadian Market and the decision by The Kelner Group to add an additional AS350 B3 to their fleet is a prime illustration of the versatility of the platform” said Mr. Guy Joannes, President & CEO, ECL. “We are pleased with the group’s decision to select Eurocopter to support growth in the region.”
The new AS350 B3 will be based in Thunder Bay, which is the transportation and logistics hub for northwestern Ontario, a region with vast natural resources with limited access. It will join the AS350 B3 that was delivered by Eurocopter in May 2010.
Northern Ontario is rich in its natural resources; it is a major gold and mineral producing region and since 2008 home of Canada’s newest diamond mine. Other missions for the helicopter will include forestry, precision long-line work and MEDEVAC.
The AS350 B3 is the “high performance” member of the popular single-engine AS350 family, with unmatched performance and reliability. It has a top speed of 140 knots and the capacity to carry a pilot and five passengers in the transportation role or external loads of up to 1,400 kg (3,086 lb.) beneath the helicopter on a cargo hook.
The AS350 B3’s 847-shp Safran Arriel 2B1 turboshaft engine provides the helicopter with the ability to lift maximum loads under extreme summer operating conditions, providing excellent utility.
The aircraft is equipped with a number of ECL designed options, enabling it to perform the most demanding utility missions. These options include the enlarged long lining floor window, the aft cargo door hinge kit and the left hand and right hand cargo pods which increase the cargo compartments by 80% over the standard AS350 compartment.
The powerful engine features a dual FADEC (Full-Authority Digital Engine Control) and a dual hydraulic system for power management. In the cockpit, the AS350 B3 provides enhanced safety and reduced workload with the Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD) for pilots.
Almost 25 years ago, the Kelner Group became the first fixed-wing aircraft operator in the world authorized to fly single-engine IFR operations with passengers. It also operated a major airline. In 1996, the Kelner Group became the exclusive Canadian Sales Distributor for the Pilatus PC-12 turboprop aircraft manufactured in Switzerland.
The Kelner Group has a long working relationship with the First Nations communities in northern Ontario, which now own Wasaya Airlines, a company Frank Kelner founded. During its formative years, the airline transported millions of kilograms of freight and passengers to various remote and underserved northern communities.
About ECL and Eurocopter Group
Eurocopter Canada Limited (www.eurocopter.ca) is a subsidiary of Eurocopter. Eurocopter Canada based in Fort Erie, Ontario, with operations in Richmond, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec – has a customer support network that spans the entire country. Eurocopter Canada celebrated 2009 as its 25th anniversary year. 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.
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