Eurocopter Delivers Powerful AS350 B3 to V. Kelner Helicopters of Thunder Bay
FORT ERIE, ON – Eurocopter Canada (ECL) is pleased to announce the delivery of a new AS350 B3 helicopter to V. Kelner Helicopters of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
“We selected the AS350 B3 for its impressive reliability and ability to lift external loads under a wide range of temperature conditions,” said Frank Kelner, CEO of V. Kelner Helicopters. “The helicopter is ideal for all utility missions such as mineral exploration and forest fire fighting.”
“The helicopter offers excellent maneuverability, great visibility and low vibration levels in the cabin, providing our customers with a true multi-mission workhorse,” he added.
V. Kelner Helicopters was established in 2008 and started its operations with an EC120 B from Eurocopter. The company is part of the Kelner Group of aviation companies, which have been serving northern Canada for more than 30 years.
“The Kelner Group has a well-deserved reputation as aviation trendsetters in Canada,” said Mr. Guy Joannes, President & CEO, ECL. “We are honoured that they have selected the Eurocopter AS350 B3 to expand their helicopter business.”
The new AS350 B3 will be based in a new hangar in Thunder Bay, which is the transportation and logistics hub for northwestern Ontario, a region with vast natural resources but very few roads. Other missions for the helicopter will include forestry, precision long-line work and MEDEVAC.
Northern Ontario is rich in natural resources; it is a major gold and mineral producing region and since 2008 home for Canada’s newest diamond mine.
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 hottest summer operating conditions, providing excellent utility.
The aircraft is equipped with a number of ECL designed options, easing operations 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 that 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. The recently delivered AS350 B3 is one of the first in eastern Canada to feature a dual hydraulic system.
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 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 many remote or 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 – 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, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2009, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.6 billion Euros, orders for 344 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,500 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.
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