A year on from the first unveiling of the EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style multi-purpose helicopter concept at last year's European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Eurocopter has shown the first finished aircraft at EBACE 2011. Inspired by Mercedes' high-end vehicles, the twin-engine Mercedes-Benz Style helicopter features a versatile interior enabled by a modular approach that allows the aircraft to be tailored to suit a range of travel needs for the well heeled – be it taking the family for a weekend away or ferrying corporate clients around in style.
The helicopter's interior design, which was created in the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Como, Italy, was inspired by the automaker's luxury-class saloons and offers top-shelf materials, wood paneling and spacious multi-function boxes with various equipment options. There's also ambient cabin lighting that can be adjusted to a number of different color and brightness settings like that found in the S and E-Class to ensure the sensitive traveler doesn't receive a shock to their system when transferring from their car to the helicopter.
Interior versatility is enhanced with all seats fixed to rails so they can be easily rearranged into a number of different seating configurations to suit four to eight passengers. The seats can even be removed altogether to provide space for luggage, with the load area offering a range of anchoring options on the floors and walls in such circumstances.
Falling into the medium-sized, twin-engine helicopter category, the EC145 is a turbine-powered aircraft that incorporates a hingeless rotor system and enhanced rotor blades that are claimed to reduce sound and vibration levels.
"Only one year after Eurocopter presented the EC145 'Mercedes-Benz Style' concept at EBACE 2010, we now are unveiling the first aircraft and can already announce the initial sale to a European corporate operator," said Olivier Lambert, Eurocopter's Senior Vice President Sales and Customer Relations.
"We are very pleased to have realized the first product of 'Mercedes-Benz Style' with Eurocopter," added Prof. h.c. Dr. Gorden Wagener, head of design at Mercedes-Benz. "The interior design of the EC145 'Mercedes-Benz Style' helicopter represents the classic passion of the Mercedes-Benz design language and fulfills the very highest expectations in terms of elegance, luxury and comfort."