Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky

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A flying Mercedes for the wide sky

Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky-flying

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The first copy of Eurocopter’s special model for customers with luxurious demands will be delivered these days.

Source: Daimler

Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky-helicopter

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Mercedes helped design the helicopter.

Source: Daimler

Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky-flying

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That brought silver paint on the outside and some modified attachments…

Source: Eurocopter / Mercedes

Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky-helicopter

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…and the neat lounge atmosphere inside…

Source: Daimler

Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky-helicopter

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…comes into its own with the right lighting.

Source: Daimler

Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky-flying

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A little wood for the pilots too,…

Source: Daimler

Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky-helicopter

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…but nothing to distract them from flying.

Source: Eurocopter / Mercedes

Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky-helicopter

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The upgrade costs around one million euros extra.

Source: Eurocopter / Mercedes

Noble helicopter: a flying Mercedes for the wide sky-wide

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But the Eurocopter EC 145 Mercedes Benz Style should also be an S-Class of the air.

Source: Daimler

Eurocopter is the market leader in civil helicopters. The Mercedes designers were asked for help with a model for the super-rich. The finishing costs around one million euros extra.

A.The super-rich have problems too. Because even when money is not an issue, time is always too short: from the villa to the office in the morning, into the mountains quickly in the afternoon, to hunt or to rush over lonely slopes on a mountain bike. And in the evening the sundowner on the yacht in the Mediterranean.

If you want to do this, you need the right tool. Because even with a Ferrari and Land Rover in the garage and a power boat on the jetty, you’re still too slow. Only a helicopter can solve such problems.

Do such thoughts reflect reality or do they just serve cliches? Eurocopter answered this question for itself. The marketing strategists of the Franco-German world market leader for civil helicopters work with such images in order to interest customers. Because a helicopter was offered that was specially tailored for sheikhs, oligarchs and oil barons.

For customers who want to land on yachts

A luxurious high-end version for an elite customer base. Eurocopter now has a shareholder who has an excellent reputation worldwide and a great deal of experience in pampering customers with technical luxury. Its know-how was tapped, and this is how the "EC 145 Mercedes Benz Style" was created. The first fully certified copy of the helicopter will change hands at the end of the month.

The first buyer is presumably a Russian oligarch – sometimes cliches are just right. As a precaution, all important parts of the VIP helicopter are also labeled in Cyrillic. The ability to land on yachts plays an important role for customers, they say at Eurocopter. And for those who own a boat like Roman Abramowitsch’s “Eclipse”, such a helicopter would be just an extra like a pair of heated rear-view mirrors for the car buyer.

On-site meeting in Donauworth, the seat of the Eurocopter headquarters. The EC 145 Mercedes Benz Style is ready in Hangar 9. The helicopter’s platform and technology are not new. The type has been around since 2001. It is powered by two engines with around 780 hp each. A cruising speed of 240 kilometers per hour is possible. 500 copies have been sold so far.

Everyone should see the Mercedes influence

But nobody looked like this: "We were faced with the task of designing it in such a way that everyone who sees it immediately says: Yes, this is a Mercedes," says Michele Jauch Paganetti from the Mercedes Benz Advanced Design Department in Como. In a villa on the shores of Lake Como, the interior design is usually done by Mercedes.

To transfer this to helicopters, Paganetti cautiously calls a "great challenge". Because even more than in automobile construction, technical specifications set tight limits for the designer. “Everything is regulated in aviation,” describes Paganetti. Weight and safety are key.

For example, colors and fabrics that are too light in the vicinity of the pilots have to be avoided. Nothing should reflect or dazzle. The clientele, however, is demanding: "They want the perfect design for their car, the perfect design for their yacht and no compromises when it comes to the helicopter."

Silver yes, but definitely not pink

But not all customer requests are met. “Of course we can deliver a helicopter in pink, but then it certainly won’t say Mercedes.” The brand image has to be preserved.

The exterior was also modified: the color scheme, in particular, was supposed to have a typical Mercedes look. So silver comes first. It is criss-crossed with fine stripes on the helicopter: “Fading” should have a dynamic effect. The landing gear has also been changed slightly and the nose of the helicopter has been modeled more streamlined. "You should immediately recognize that a Mercedes Style is flying," says program manager Ernst Heckert.

From the outside, however, only experts should be able to do this. On the inside, however, the parallels are clear. "We have adopted many details from car manufacturing, the ventilation slots, lighting effects or the panels made of real wood, which even extend to the pilots," says Paganetti. He wanted to clean up, lighten the technical look of conventional helicopters and ensure clear lines.

You would also have a smaller model

As in an SUV, the finely sewn leather seats can be grouped into combinations of four, six or eight. In between there is space for entertainment units with large folding screens. Noise-reducing headphones ensure peace and quiet. Mountain bikes or golf bags can comfortably fit in the luggage compartment behind the seats, depending on the seating.

The customer can choose color combinations, leather qualities and many extras in a sales room in Donauworth, where the helicopter is individually configured. The Mercedes look makes it around one million euros more expensive than the off-the-peg business helicopter.

And once the interested party has made a decision, they have to wait around 18 months for their aircraft, because production only takes place after the order has been placed. Eurocopter plans to build five to six copies a year. But the market for VIP helicopters is growing, and Eurocopter is anticipating annual growth rates of 20 percent.

And one would also be prepared for a trend towards second helicopters. Eurocopter describes the EC 145 as something like the luxury SUV in the automotive industry. As a more manoeuvrable, smaller second model, there is the EC 135 model. If desired, it can also be made a little more comfortable, based on ideas provided by Hermès.

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