A Puma with tracks in April: Toward the end of the 1960s, a landing gear system with motorised tracks was tested on Puma pre-production model 06. This was intended to enable helicopter to taxi with the rotor stopped (in undergrowth, for example).
The helicopter was able to drive forwards or backwards at a speed of 4 km/h on soft, sandy or soggy soils. In the end, this set-up was not adopted for reasons of complexity and high manufacturing costs.
Following the commercial success of the Alouette II, a new helicopter with five seats needed to be developed. The response was the Gazelle, which was adopted, in particular, by the British and French armies, but which did not enjoy the expected commercial success on the civil market because of its price. The decision was therefore taken to develop a more economical aircraft.
MBB announced the series production of the Bo108 with certification scheduled for 1994. One year later, Eurocopter was created, taking advantage of the promising technology of the ex-Helicopter Division of Aerospatiale, such as the Fenestron®. The result was the EC135, the first joint Eurocopter helicopter, which performed its maiden flight on 15 February 1994.