Eurocopter Colibri

Eurocopter Colibri

infobox Aircraft
name = EC120 Colibri
type = Light utility helicopter
manufacturer = Eurocopter
Harbin Aviation Industries

caption = San Bernardino County Sheriff's EC120
designer =
first flight = 9 June 1995
introduced = 1998
retired =
status =
primary user =
more users =
produced =
number built =
unit cost = ~US$1.4M
developed from =
variants with their own articles =
The Eurocopter EC 120 Colibri (French "Hummingbird") is a 5-seat, single-engine, single main rotor, light helicopter. Jointly designed and developed by Eurocopter, China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), Harbin Aviation Industries (Group) Ltd (HAI) and Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd (STAero) at Eurocopter France's Marignane facility, the EC120 B is assembled by Eurocopter in France and Australia.cite web|url=|title=EC120 Assembly Line|publisher= [ Australian Aerospace] |accessdate=2007-04-16] In China, the aircraft is produced by Harbin as the HC120.cite web|url=|title=HC-120 (EC-120) Helicopter|publisher= [ Global] |accessdate=2007-04-16]

Eurocopter has a 61% interest in the project, with CATIC owning 24% and STAero with 15% share. [ [ Eurocopter] ] .


The EC120 B is mostly built from composite materials and has a fenestron (shrouded) tail rotor, making it a particularly quiet helicopter (FAA Appendix J flyover noise

The design of the Colibri's wide cabin (featuring excellent visibility) makes it suitable for wide variety of civilian and parapublic missions, such as utility transport, offshore transport, training, law enforcement, casualty evacuation and corporate transport. In the casualty evacuation role, the helicopter can carry one pilot and one stretcher patient as well as one or two medical attendants. For cargo carrying, the Colibri can carry one pilot plus 2.94 cubic meters (103.9 cu. ft.) of total useful load volume (cabin and hold). The EC120's 0.8 cubic meter (28.3 cu. ft.) hold is accessible from the side and rear.

In addition to its civilian roles, the Colibri is also used by the military for training, observation and light utility missions. In the latter role, it can carry a sling load cargo of up to 700 kg (1,543 lb).

The EC120 B is an ideal law enforcement helicopter. Due to its light weight and powerful Arrius 2F engine, it is able to carry equipment such as FLIR cameras, spotlights and other useful tools. Some law enforcement agencies using the EC120 B include: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Edmonton Police Service (AIR-1) and the Calgary Police Service (HAWC 2).

Operational history

The first EC120 B was delivered in 1998 and by 2008, Eurocopter had already delivered more than 550 Colibris to various customers.

In 2004, the United States Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) selected the EC120 B to meet its Light Sign Cutter requirement, a program potentially involving 55 aircraft with a total value of US$ 75 million in then-year dollars [ [ Defense Industry Daily] ] . In 2006, the CBP ordered 15 EC120 B helicopters, with a further 5 aircraft since ordered [ [ American Eurocopter] ] .

In January 2008, the French Defense Ministry selected the EC120 as the French Army's new lead-in rotary-wing trainer, replacing the Aérospatiale Gazelle. 36 EC120 Bs equipped with Sagem avionics will be operated through a 22-year public-private partnership (PPP), with the first aircraft due to arrive in 2010 [ [ French Ministry of Defense] ] .


*EC120 B Colibri: Standard designation (original designation during development = 'P120')
*HC120: The HC120 helicopter trainer is a licensed Chinese-built variant of the EC120


*Two currently operated by Phoenix Heli-Flight
*York Regional Police
*Two in service with Calgary Police Service
*One in service with Edmonton Police Service
*RCMP "E" Division

*People's Liberation Army Aviation Corps

*Six in service with the German Federal Police to be used for pilot training. [ [ Eurocopter Press Release - Eurocopter Hands Over The First Of A Total Of Six EC120 Training Helicopters To The German Ministry Of The Interior ] ]

*Two in service with APOORVA Aviation for training of Indian helicopter pilots. [ [ Eurocopter Press Release - Eurocopter Signs Contract For Two EC120 For APOORVA Aviation At Aero India] ]

*As Police Patrol helicopter
*Also used as a light utility helicopter by the Indonesian Air Force and the Indonesian Navy.

*Five in service with State Border Guard Service used primarily for air surveillance and patrol.

*Five in service with Federal Preventive Police.

*Republic of Singapore Air Force
**124 Sqn with four EC120 as basic helicopter Trainer.

*Fifteen in service with the Spanish Air Force as training helicopters.
*Seven in service with the DGT (National Traffic Authority).
*Two in service with the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía (National Police).

* One in service with FlyCom air surveillance company.

*One in service with Albuquerque Police Department, providing airborne law enforcement support over Albuquerque, New Mexico.
*One in service with Austin Police Department.
*Four in service with the Baltimore, MD Police Department. []
*Two in service with the Fresno Police Department.
*One in service with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
*Three in service with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, providing airborne law enforcement support over Manatee County, Florida.
*Three in service with the Costa Mesa Police Department and Newport Beach Police Department (as Airborne Law Enforcement Services), providing airborne law enforcement support over the cities of Costa Mesa, California;Newport Beach, California; and Santa Ana, California (by contract).
*Three in service with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and used by its Air Support Bureau to conduct police patrols and supporting Homeland Defense personnel in Sacramento, California. [ [ Eurocopter Press Release - 400th EC120 Delivered To Sacramento County Sheriff's Department] ]
*One in service with the San José Police Department.
*Fifteen in service with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, used for low-level surveillance and security patrol of the U.S. border. Deliveries commenced in 2006 and are on-going, with another five EC120s on order. [ [ Eurocopter Press Release - U.S. Customs & Border Protection Takes Delivery Of Its First EC120] ]

pecifications (EC120 B)

aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=copter
jet or prop?=prop
ref={name of first source} Eurocopter EC120 B 2008 Tech Data book
crew= 1 or 2 pilots
capacity= 4 passengers
length main= 9.6 m
length alt= 31 ft 5 in
span main= 10.0 m
span alt= 32 ft 8 in
height main= 3.4 m
height alt= 11 ft 2 in
area main=
area alt=
empty weight main= 991 kg
empty weight alt= 2,185 lb
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main= 724 kg
useful load alt= 1,596 lb
max takeoff weight main= 1,715 kg
max takeoff weight alt= 3,781 lb
more general=
engine (prop)=Turbomeca Arrius 2F
type of prop=turboshaft
number of props=1
power main= 376 kW
power alt= 504 shp
power original=
max speed main=
max speed alt=
cruise speed main= 223 km/h
cruise speed alt= 120 knots, 138 mph
never exceed speed main= 278 km/h
never exceed speed alt= 150 knots, 172 mph
range main= 710 km
range alt= 383 nm, 440 mi
ceiling main= 5,182 m
ceiling alt= 17,000 ft
climb rate main= 5.84 m/s
climb rate alt= 1,150 ft/min
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=
avionics= Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD) with First Limit Indicator (FLI) fitted as standard.


External links

* [ Official Eurocopter EC120 B Website]
* [ EC120 webpage] on [ American Eurocopter] website
* [ UK-CAA & JAA Type Certificate Data Sheet]
* [ Harbin Aviation Industries] producer of the HC120.

ee also

* EC 120 - EC 130 - EC 135 - EC 145

see also=

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