FIDAE: Airbus Helis

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The newly rebranded Airbus Helicopters is hoping to increase its penetration of the Latin American market with its participation at FIDAE.

And although its focus on the show has previously been aimed at the military segment, for 2014's edition it is not neglecting its civil range either.

Displayed in the static park are a pair of VIP aircraft for delivery to two customers. One is an EC155 B1 Dauphin and the other an EC130 T2 – the first delivery of the latter in the south of the continent. And alongside these are an EC120 Colibri, AS350 B3 and EC135.

Latin America has long been an important market for Airbus Helicopters, accounting for 15% of the group's sales and it forecasts this will increase to 20% in the coming years.

The value of the continent to Airbus Helicopters is highlighted by its manufacturing presence, with assembly sites in Itajubá, Brazil and Querétaro, Mexico.

The former site, home to its Helibras subsidiary, has been building AS350 Écureuils for a number of years and has since broadened its scope, adding an assembly line for EC725 Cougars destined for all three of Brazil's armed services, as well as extensive design and development capabilities.

Although not produced in Itajubá, the manufacturer's third helicopter on display at FIDAE is an an AS532 AL+ destined for the Chilean army. It believes the Turbomeca Makila 1A1-powered type is ideally suited to the hot and high conditions that predominate in the continent.