Finland receives new helo from Airbus Helicopters

By Richard Tomkins  |  March 3, 2016 at 11:36 AM
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LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 3 (UPI) -- Airbus Helicopters has announced the delivery of the first of two H215 heavy-lift utility aircraft to Finland's Border Guard.

The helicopter arrived in Finland earlier this week following a training session at the Airbus Helicopters headquarters in Marignane, France. The second is scheduled for due for delivery in late spring.

"Finland is the eighth-largest country in the European Union but the most sparsely populated, with large sea areas and forest terrains and, due to the northern location, very challenging weather conditions for SAR [search and rescue] operations," Finnish Border Guard Col. Antti Pesari said. "The H215's avionics and autopilot, combined with its capability to provide excellent performance in day or night operations, are the reason why we are excited to have it join our fleet."

The H215 was previously known as the Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma. Eurocopter is now part of Airbus Helicopters. It has a cruise speed of about 153 mph, a range of 529 miles and a service ceiling of nearly 17,000 feet.

The Finnish Border Guard operates three AS332 aircraft and has a maintenance, repair and overhaul HCare contract to retrofit them to the new H215 multi-role configuration.

Announcement of the delivery was made at the Heli Expo Trade Show in the United States.

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