Producing helicopters that meet the highest quality and safety standards is a complex process involving hundreds of steps and including thousands of people worldwide. Airbus Helicopters’ production department – also known by its “Operations” designation – unites 7,000 employees at 11 sites in 9 countries. In Operations, we produce and deliver modern, capable and sustainable helicopters to our clients.

An end-to-end process
that delivers the highest

Airbus Helicopters ensures a thorough and customer-focussed strategy throughout the production of our rotorcraft.

The production process begins with the procurement of systems and parts, and continues throughout the delivery phase – encompassing all of the steps in between.

This includes the optimum choice of materials used in building a helicopter in meeting the most demanding missions, the determination of highly efficient production flows, the application of best practices for quality, and a thorough post-production flight test/acceptance phase.


How do we 
build our helicopters?

Once a helicopter order is placed by a customer, the procurement department is the first to step in. This department is divided into two teams; the first ensures that the procurement strategy is well-implemented and compliant with procedures and regulations. The second team is responsible for the timely and faultless execution of work by the supply chain, from the placement of purchase orders to delivery by the suppliers. Members of the procurement team handle the day-to-day management of suppliers and oversee the suppliers’ delivery performance, as well as support the implementation of procurement strategies. 

Once the required orders are placed with suppliers, it’s time for Operations Flow (the scheduling and logistics teams) to take charge. Operations Flow is responsible for organising, managing and implementing worldwide standards and processes to ensure that the flow of materials is managed and controlled throughout the supply chain. The Operations Flow teams oversee the workload planning of managers and production-floor workers for all functions.

Production that spans 
the globe

At this phase of the process, the production of helicopter components begins. Certain components are assembled by the suppliers for delivery to Airbus, while others take shape at Airbus Helicopters’ industrial sites by specialised teams. 

Certain Airbus industrial sites are focussed on the assembly, test and manufacture of primary helicopter parts, while others are concentrated on basic mechanical and structural elements. These sites manage the delivery of parts to the respective Airbus Helicopters’ final assembly lines, and they also provide spare parts and dynamic components to the Support & Services department – which is specialised in keeping customers’ helicopters in ready-to-fly condition. 

To increase the Airbus Helicopters’ competitiveness, quality and the ability to meet production rates, our industrial operations are specialised at the various production and final assembly sites to optimise resources and simplify the production process.  

Proximity to customers is a key element of Airbus Helicopters’ commitment, which is why we have developed various industrial sites at strategic locations around the world.



Production that spans the globe

Safety and innovation

As safety and quality are our key priorities, we have teams dedicated to these topics throughout the production process. They ensure that all specifications are met for conformity and airworthiness. Additionally, they ensure that we are aligned with all safety rules and specifications set by the world’s airworthiness authorities, and that we meet – or exceed – industry standards. These teams work on quality to improve our competitiveness and deliver safe and sustainable helicopters to our clients.

In parallel, personnel from Airbus Helicopters’ Operations are deeply implicated in developing the strategic architecture of our production processes – involving everything from new technologies (digital mockups, virtual reality on the production floor, etc.) to lean production and continuous improvement.

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