At Heli-Expo Eurocopter launched its new light single EC130 T2, a model aimed at providing a quiet, cost-effective and profitable upgrade product to companies already operating light singles, including Maverick Helicopters, one of Sunday’s announced launch customers, which currently operates dozens of EC130s. Maverick has ordered 50 T2s for use in its air tour operations, which include tours of the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Las Vegas. Other early adopters include Papillion Helicopters, Blue Hawaiian and Europavia.
The T2 is an improved model—it is 70 percent new, says Eurocopter--with a new engine, the 952-pound shp Turbomeca Arriel 2D for 10 percent better power, a higher takeoff weight (up to 5,512 pounds internal load) and quieter flyover noise, a critical piece of the puzzle for air tour operators in many locales, especially the Grand Canyon, where noise restrictions are stringent. It will also offer new Garmin glass, with GTN touchscreen navigators and G500H flat-panel avionics as available options. Eurocopter plans to begin deliveries later this year.