Airbus Helicopters held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday with French President Francois Hollande and Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos for the opening of its new facility in Central Romania, according to news reports.
Airbus Helicopters Romania is to invest a reported $58 million in this factory, located in Ghinbav. So far, it has invested almost $17 million. Starting in late 2017, H215s will be produced at the factory.
R&WI reported in July that Airbus aims to keep H215 costs competitive with Russian Helicopters’ Mi-171. Production costs are lower in Romania compared to Marignane, France, where Airbus Helicopters’ headquarters are located.
The H215 is being marketed primarily to government and defense agencies, as well as nongovernmental organizations flying humanitarian missions. It can carry 19 passengers, or 22 troops, with two pilots. The helicopter also has a cargo sling with maximum load of nearly 10,000 lb.