American Eurocopter has shipped the first of 3 EC155s bound for the University of Michigan Survival Flight program. The aircraft is now at Metro Aviation of Shreveport LA, an air medical service provider and helicopter completions specialist. Scheduled for delivery to the University of Michigan this October, it will be the first EMS-configured EC155 in service in the US.

Paradigm Helicopters of Houston TX has received the first WAAS-capable EC135 twin helicopter to be delivered in the US. Paradigm flies a variety of missions, from charters and tourist flights to pipe­line/powerline patrols, offshore missions and lightering operations. The EC135 is equipped for single-pilot IFR and missions requiring NVGs. It also carries externally deployable floats, a life raft, and a hoist for evacuations and other operations.

Sikorsky debuted a static exhibit of its twin-engine CH148 Cyclone multimission helicopter at the Paris Air Show. A variant of the S92 designed for shipboard use by the Canadian Armed Forces, the aircraft is intended to replace Canada's CH124 Sea Kings. Delivery of the first CH148 is scheduled for 2013.

New developments at Agusta­Westland include a joint venture with Russian Helicopters, part of Russian Technologies State Corp. Called HeliVert, the operation will assemble the 15-passenger AW139 medium twin. Groundbreaking for the final assembly line plant took place on Jun 22 in Tomilino, near Moscow.

AgustaWestland has now taken full ownership of the BA609 tiltrotor program. It formerly shared that effort with Bell, which has decided to focus on its V22 Osprey alliance with Boeing. AgustaWestland will redesignate its tiltrotor the AW609. Bell will remain involved in the design and certification of AW609 components, which it will supply when the helicopter goes into construction. Certification and initial deliveries are planned for 2015.

American Eurocopter delivered its 12th AS350B2 to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept, completing an order received last August. Cruise speeds for the 6-seat light single helicopter range up to 131 kts, with maximum range of 374 nm and endurance up to 5.3 hrs.

According to Eurocopter, 194 AStars are in use by American agencies such as the Texas Dept of Public Safety and US Customs & Border Protection.

Blueway of Oslo, Norway has ordered its 4th EC225. The 19-passenger, 11-ton-class helicopter will augment the company's helicopter service for the North Sea oil and gas market. It will be based in the vicinity of Esbjerg, Denmark. Blueway operates some 25 rotary-wing aircraft.

Eurocopter has announced plans to recruit more than 300 experienced engineers for its R&D teams in Marignane, France, and Donauwörth, Germany, as well as hiring young engineering graduates.

The company has also opened its new global logistics facility at Les Florides industrial park in southern France. With more than 750 em­ployees, the new facility houses more than 1.5 million parts and plans to deliver more than 300,000 annually.