This is a small "made in France" helicopter that will be around for some time. The Cabri G2 developed by Guimbal Helicopters (Hélicoptères Guimbal), based in Aix en Provence, southern France, has been a success since it came onto the market in 2008.
Richie McCaw, the All Blacks rugby captain, used the Cabri G2 to carry out his first solo in a chopper (and also the first that had taken place in the Southern Hemisphere in that particular model of helicopter). In fact the lightweight two-seater helicopter is especially popular with professional flight schools; of the 125 units delivered, more than 95% serve to train future helicopter pilots.
Built primarily from composite materials, the aircraft weighs only 880 lbs (400 kg) unladen. Its triple-bladed rotor is powered by a Lycoming engine (145 hp) giving it manoeuverability, stability, and a cruising speed of 115 mph (185 km/h), over a range of 435 miles (700 km).
At a basic price of 330,000 euros, the aircraft is exported worldwide. The Cabri G2 is certified in Europe, China, the USA, and Brazil since just a few days ago, but will soon also be in Canada (2016). Guimbal Helicopters currently has 80 aircraft on their order books, the equivalent of two years’ production. Their turnover in 2015 should be around 15 million euros.