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1992-1995

1992

1 January: The helicopter divisions of Aerospatiale (France) and MBB (Germany) merge to form the Eurocopter group.

1 September: The NH90 development contract is signed between NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency) and NH Industries. The NH90 is a European collaboration between four countries: France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. NH Industries is the focal point for the NH90 programme which is a French SAS company, based in Aix-en-Provence. It is wholly owned by Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), Leonardo (former AgustaWestland) (32%) and Fokker Aerostructures (5.5%) and is the focal point for these companies for the NH90 programme. Established in 1992, NHI has managed the design, development and entry into service of the NH90 for both NAHEMA and export customers.

20 October: The joint development contract for the EC120 is signed with Catic (China) and Singapore Aerospace Ltd (Singapore).

9 November: Roll-out of the second Tiger prototype at the Ottobrunn facility in its Gerfaut escort/support version.

13 November: Aerospatiale Helicopter Australia becomes Eurocopter International Pacific, later to become Australian Aerospace in 2002. The subsidiary is inaugurated by Jean-François Bigay, president of Eurocopter, and Siegfried Sobotta, co-president of Eurocopter, in the presence of Australian Prime Minister, Paul J. Keating.

The AS332 L2 Super Puma is awarded British CAA certification in November 1992.

15 November: The AS332 L2 Super Puma is awarded British CAA certification. 

American Eurocopter is founded as a result of a merger between the Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation and the MBB Helicopter Corporation.

Eurocopter Service Japan is founded and later renamed Eurocopter Japan in 2005.

1993

First flight of the Tiger second prototype on April 22, 1993.

22 April: Maiden flight of the second Tiger prototype.

From 11 to 20 June: The Tiger is presented at the Paris Airshow.

In October 1993, the Phenix contract places an order of 20 Mark I Cougars for Turkey.

8 October: Signature of a contract (named Phenix) with Turkey for 20 Mark I Cougars.

 

29 October: Jean-François Bigay, president of Eurocopter, and Ton Frinking, Secretary of State for Defence of the Netherlands, sign a contract (named Tournesol) for 17 Mark II Cougars for the Air Force.

19 November: Maiden flight of the third Tiger prototype.

1994

Maiden flight of the fourth EC135 prototype

15 February: Maiden flight of the EC135, the first helicopter in the Eurocopter range and successor to the BO108. The most important addition to the EC135 is its Fenestron® tail rotor. It is also equipped with a bearingless main rotor. This is the first civil model since Eurocopter’s founding and the fruit of close collaboration between French and German teams.  

First flight of the fourth Tiger prototype in Marignane in 1994.

16 December: Maiden flight of the fourth Tiger prototype. 

1995

9 June: The EC120 conducts its maiden flight. With this helicopter, Eurocopter extends its range to include 1.5 metric tonne machines.

10 June: In the frame of the NH90 Helicopter Programme, after the addition of an addendum to the general Memorandum of Understanding signed by the four nations participating in the programme (France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands), the contract for the additional work and national customisation is signed by NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency) and NH Industries (NH90 prime contractor). This contract will customise the NH90 helicopter to the particular operational needs of the four nations’ armed forces as foreseen in the design & development contract.

29 September: First NH90 prototype rolls out. Three years after the signature of the NH90 design & development contract, NH Industries presents, as scheduled, the first prototype of a fully assembled NH90 helicopter. The event takes place in the presence of the customer NAHEMA and top defence officials from France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, at the Eurocopter factory in Marignane, France, where final assembly was carried out.

Maiden flight of the first NH90 prototype

18 December: The first prototype of the NH90 is successfully flown, as scheduled, from the Eurocopter plant in Marignane, France. The trial starts at 4 p.m. and for the next 40 minutes the NH90 is flown by experimental test pilots Philippe Boutry and Guy Dabadie with flight test engineer Denis Trivier and flight engineer Jean-Luc Rabany.

Helicopters history

The full Helicopters history (1920s to 2018)

1960s-90s

1992-1995

1996-1998

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