If you are really impressed with your huge new yacht, then you wouldn’t be seen dead with a mere gnat of a helicopter to take you to shore. You would want a really big one. A 16-seat, 7.5-tonne Eurocopter EC175, for example.
And it should be as stylish as your yacht – a creation from Eidsgaard Design, perhaps.
That’s just what Eurocopter is unveiling here at EBACE: executive and VIP versions of its top-of-the-range commercial product line. The executive cabin seats 9-12 passengers, while the more spacious VIP interior is tailored for six to nine.
“The trend today is for more luxury, more comfort – as in yachts and business jets,” says Eurocopter. “And this level of luxury has never before been seen in a helicopter.”
The VIP cabin will be offered in three versions: elegant/art deco, modern avant garde/inspired by automotive, and more opulent/classic. The interiors will be installed by Eurocopter in Europe.
A launch customer from “around Monaco” has signed a MoU for the first VIP EC175, to be delivered at the end of 2015. “It will fit the yacht of the principal,” Eurocopter says. It expects to sell about five VIP EC175s per year to multi-billionaires in Russia, the Middle East, Asia and Brazil. It has also targeted several potential customers in the U.S. for the executive version, as well as government clients elsewhere that currently operate EC225s.
About 20% of Eurocopter’s civil sales are to private and executive customers.
With three EC175s now flying, flight testing is proceeding apace and certification is expected by the end of the year.
Eurocopter is at EBACE on stand 7050.