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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: With a Successful Year, Sloane Looks to Refine Image

HELITECH ’07

Having enjoyed a busy and successful, Sloane Helicopters Ltd. is re-branding itself to better reflect its market position in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The company is on target to achieve more than 40 new aircraft deliveries this year, including Robinson and AgustaWestland aircraft, to customers based both in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The year’s start saw the successful entry into service of the A109E Power with the Empire Test Pilot School at Boscombe Down, England. The aircraft is fully modified with a sophisticated electronics package that includes a flight test instrumentation kit, since it is largely used in training future civil and military test pilots.

The continuing effectiveness of the turnkey operation for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Trust, enhanced by the reliability of the new A109 Power EMS aircraft that entered service in 2006, allowed the successful trial of an extended daily duty period during mid-year. Plans are to maintain that extended schedule into the future.

According to Sloane, product support and customer care continue to be key priorities in which it strives to improve. Sloane says it is investing significantly to meet the increasing requirements of a growing fleet and the demanding needs of customers. The most notable result of that investment is the brand-new, purpose-built, 12,000-sq-ft maintenance facility at St. Angelo Airport in Enniskillen. A team of skilled engineers, both relocated from Sywell and recruited locally, is expected to deliver more than 10,000 maintenance hours in that facility’s first year of operation.

Plans call for development of Sloane’s Sywell headquarters. Customers should benefit from a dedicated area with a restructured customer-service team and from largely improved and extended flight training facilities, including new and newly equipped briefing rooms and provisions for a flight training device starting in early 2008.

Finally, Sloane has undertaken a project to re-align its corporate image to better reflect its established position in the aviation market in the United Kingdom and Ireland. That new identity was unveiled at Helitech.

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