The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) EC120 Colibri (Hummingbird).

First flight – 1995. Max. speed 220 km/h. Motors: Turbomeca Arrius 2F, 504 HP

Air museum in Saint-Victoret.

The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) EC120 Colibri (“hummingbird”) is a five-seat, single-engine, light utility helicopter. Jointly designed and developed by Eurocopter, China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), Harbin Aviation Industries (Group) Ltd (HAIG) and Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd (STAero) at Eurocopter France’s Marignane facility, the EC120B was assembled by Eurocopter in France and Australia.

In China, the aircraft is produced by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (HAMC) as the HC120. In 2004, HAMC began local manufacturing of the HC120 at their assembly line in Harbin, in northern China. In the Chinese market, both the People’s Liberation Army and multiple local police forces have purchased HC120 helicopters.

The EC120 Colibri has its origins in the P120, a proposal by French helicopter manufacturer Aérospatiale that was intended to replace both their Aérospatiale Gazelle and Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama single engine helicopters. During the 1980s, Aérospatiale sought international partners with which to co-produce the P120, these included aerospace companies in China, Singapore, and Australia. In the aftermath of the Chinese Government’s crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the exclusion of Chinese involvement in the project was speculated.

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