14 December: The 100th AS350 B3 Ecureuil single engine helicopter manufactured by Eurocopter and intended for a Japanese operator has been handed over to their distributor, Kawasho. The AS350 B3 includes a number of improvements: engine control with a twist grip on the pilot collective lever, main gear box upgrade to 500 kW, and twin engine Ecureuil tail rotor. Amongst the latest innovations recently certified and soon available are: transfer of auxiliary rotor brake and fuel shut-off controls to the overhead panel to free up floor space, and central instrument panel with built-in lighting and 3" instruments.
30 November: The new MK2+ version of the medium-lift (11-tonne category) twin engine EC725 Cougar / Super Puma helicopter completes its maiden flight from the Eurocopter plant in Marignane. The Cougar / Super Puma MK2+ will continue to use the Spheriflex main and tail rotor heads, whose technology and performance have been demonstrated and which also offer lower maintenance costs. The five main rotor blades of the Cougar / Super Puma MK2+ benefit from a state-of-the-art airfoil design. They have a composite spar with parabolic blade tips with an anhedral profile. This five-blade configuration ensures a particularly low vibration level for the helicopter. The main rotor system has a diameter of 16.2 metres.
21 December: The Eurocopter Tiger ARH contract is awarded in Australia. From December 2004, Eurocopter International Pacific will deliver 22 Tiger ARHs. The Tiger ARHs are expected to be assembled in Queensland at Australian Aerospace Pty Limited, the recently acquired subsidiary of EADS in Australia.