Orlando – March 1, 2007 – HAI 2007
Hydro One, the largest electricity distribution company in Ontario and the 10th largest in North America, has announced it is buying two AS350B3s from Eurocopter Canada, with an option to purchase a third. The B3s will join Hydro One’s helicopter fleet (one in 2007 and the second in 2008), which performs aerial power line maintenance and hauls components across the company’s 640,000 square kilometers of territory. Currently Hydro One flies four AS350B2s, plus two older Bell models which are due to be retired and sold. The company is responsible for maintaining 123,000 kms of transmission lines, and another 29,000 km of lines that interconnect to the grids of other provinces and U.S. Border States.
“We wanted to add extra lifting power to our helicopter fleet,” says Barry Williams, Hydro One’s Chief Pilot and Operations Manager. “After checking our options, the AStar B3 was the natural choice. Not only does it provide heavy-lifting capability, but the B3 has extra 500 lbs. of cargo hook capacity compared to the B2. Since we do a lot of sling and longline work, and often haul poles into remote areas by air, this extra capacity will be of great benefit to us.”
“Our internal customers at Hydro One like the AStar’s all-in-one cabin concept, which is found on both the B2 and B3,” he adds. “The AStar is also robust enough to handle Ontario’s climate, which ranges from in temperature from -40C to +30 C each year. All told, the AStar has the speed, the payload capacity, and the performance we need!”
Fitted with a Safran Arriel 2B turbine engine with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control), the AS350B3 is the high performance, heavy-duty single engine helicopter of the Eurocopter line. It offers room for 6-7 occupants, a maximum weight capacity of 2,250 kgs/4,960 lbs, and a fast cruising speed of 140 knots (279 kph).
Eurocopter Canada Limited (www.eurocopter.ca) is a subsidiary of Eurocopter. Eurocopter Canada based in Fort Erie, Ontario has customer support centres in Vancouver, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec. 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 approx. 14,000 people. In 2006, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 3.8 billion euros, orders for 615 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civilian/commercial and Para public sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 17 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. More than 9,800 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest range of commercial and military helicopters in the world.
100 years of vertical flight
The first vertical flight ever made was made by Paul Cornu in 1907. Since then great pioneering spirit, technological advances and innovative ideas have turned the helicopter into an aircraft without which air rescue as we know it would be unimaginable and which makes a significant contribution towards the safety and protection of individuals and to economic development. Eurocopter is proud to join in celebrating this centenary and its own passion for helicopters in 2007.
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