ITAJUBA, Brazil, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The first Eurocopter EC725 completely assembled in Brazil by Eurocopter subsidiary Helibras has completed its maiden flight ahead of schedule.
Production in Brazil of the EC725 is for Brazil's armed forces and comes under a contract signed by Helibras /Eurocopter and the Ministry of Defense for 50 new helicopters for the Navy, Army and Air Force.
Under the contract, Eurocopter agreed to transfer to Brazil the technology and skills needed for its local assembly. Also, by the end of 2017, the helicopters would need to have at least 50 percent domestic content.
Helebras said it invested about $184.5 million to build a new facility for manufacture of the EC725 and to send technicians to Eurocopter in France for training. Seven aircraft are currently on the Helebras production line.
The EC725 is a twin-engine, long-range tactical transport that can carry as many as 29 troops plus crew. It has a maximum speed of 201 mph in level flight and a range of 533 miles.