Airbus Expects Super Puma to Fly ‘For Decades to Come’ as Company Celebrates 1000th Delivery
Airbus Helicopters has delivered the 1,000th rotorcraft from its Super Puma family – a H215 for the aviation division of Germany’s Bundespolizei federal police.
Handed over during a ceremony at the airframer’s Marignane headquarters in the south of France, the heavy-twin is the fourth and final aircraft from a 2016 order.
Joining a fleet which also includes 19 AS332 L1s – an earlier Super Puma variant – the new helicopters are to be used for maritime emergency support missions, a task the Bundespolizei has inherited from the country’s armed forces.
Speaking at the 6 September event, Airbus Helicopters chief executive Bruno Even expressed his pride at reaching the delivery milestone in a period of a little over 40 years.
“The history of the Super Puma is closely linked to that of our company. It would not be what it is if it did not have the Super Puma in its past,” he says.
“It has been four decades in which our market and environment has changed profoundly, during which the Super Puma and our company was able to evolve to meet our customers’ expectations.”
First flight of the original AS332 was in September 1978. The Super Puma family currently comprises two models: the 8.6t H215 and 11t H225.
Once a major helicopter type in the North Sea, the helicopter has not returned to service in the UK following a series of fatal crashes with the most recent in Norway in 2016.
The model is still used in the oil and gas sector in other regions globally including South America.
It was grounded globally following the 2016 crash which killed 13 people, although it was given clearance to fly again over UK waters a year later it never returned to service in the North Sea.