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Metro Aviation orders 25 EC-145e helicopters

Announced at "Heli-Expo 2018" in Las Vegas

Airbus Helicopters announced Tuesday that Metro Aviation had ordered an unprecedented 25 EC-145e helicopters that it will place into service providing air medical transport and other aerial services. It is one of the larger commercial helicopter orders ever booked by the US based company. 

Metro was the first customer in the world for the lighter weight and lower cost version of the EC-145 when it was launched by the industry in 2015, placing an initial order for six aircraft. The helicopter was launched initially only for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) use and Metro put it to work in air medical transport and utility markets. 

Since that time Metro, working with Genesis Aerosystems has developed and received Federal Aviation Administration Supplemental Type Certificates for a VFR electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) and an autopilot and stability augmentation system for the EC-145e. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) certification is expected this year. 

Metro has identified a sizeable, untapped market for the EC-145e helicopter. 

Having developed STCs for the EFIS and autopilot systems, Metro has found significant interest for the lower cost EC-145e from a diverse group of customers, including air medical, law enforcement, utility and other missions. 

The industry will produce the EC-145e at its final assembly plant in Columbus, Miss. where it also produces the UH-72A Lakota for the US Army and the H-125 commercial helicopter for the North American market. Metro will customize the aircraft for individual customers at its completion center in Shreveport, La. 

The EC-145e is a light twin helicopter and increased useful payload. The standard EC-145e includes a single pilot VFR glass cockpit featuring the Garmin G500H and GTN 650 GPS and communication system. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 7,903 lbs. 

The aircraft is suited for law enforcement missions, air medical, utility, aerial work, firefighting, and passenger transport. 

The company is one of the providers of civil and commercial helicopters in the US. The industry is based in Grand Prairie, Texas where it operates helicopter completion, paint, and MRO facilities, performs flight test and engineering support, and flight and maintenance training for customers. The Columbus, Miss. plant produces UH-72A Lakota helicopters for the US Army and the H-125 for the civil market.

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