Heli-Bearn has taken delivery of a Kodiak 100 turboprop utility aircraft from Daher. The aerial work operator, based at Pau-Pyrénées airport in France, thus becomes the first French customer for this aircraft.
Built in Sandpoint in Idaho, US, the Kodiak is renowned for its robustness, high payload and STOL capabilities, useful for a wide variety of missions. The Kodiak 100 delivered to Heli-Bearn is mostly intended for dropping parachutists.
In this configuration, the Kodiak 100 has a sliding door and benches to take up to 15 parachutists. Capable of climbing to 3,000 m (12,000 ft) in nine and a half minutes, it can provide an average of four rotations per hour.
“As an aerial work operator, we were interested in the Kodiak as soon as we learned that Daher had purchased it,” notes Jean-Luc Dartiailh, director of Heli-Bearn. “We were able to test it in operational conditions, and we were quickly convinced that it was the ideal aircraft, especially for parachute drops. It is a modern, safe, easy to maintain and efficient device. With an operating cost 25% lower than that of other aircraft in service, it seems to us the ideal solution to take over from the ageing fleet of parachute centres.”
“We would like to thank Heli-Bearn and its chairman Jean-Luc Dartiailh, whose level of requirement we are well aware of, for their confidence in our aircraft as means of developing their aerial work activities,” adds Nicolas Chabbert, director of Daher's aircraft division and managing director of Kodiak Aircraft. “Until now, the Kodiak has been a little-known aircraft outside of North America and Asia. With this first delivery of a Kodiak to a French customer, we hope to change that situation.”
Heli-Bearn, founded in 1996, is a company whose main activities are transport and aerial work by helicopters and planes, aeronautical maintenance and various training courses related to aeronautics. It operates a fleet of around ten aircraft, mainly Airbus AS350 B2/B3, AS355 and SA315B helicopters, as well as a TBM 700.