Brexit is not going to separate everyone! Indeed, Airbus Corporate Helicopters, wishing to go upmarket in the business aviation segment, and Aston Martin, wishing to extend its customer loyalty beyond cars, joined forces for the first time. The result is a new, very luxurious, limited edition of the ACH130 helicopter.
“James Bond had a car, he will now have an helicopter”
The European aircraft manufacturer had already manufactured the H160 in association with Peugeot Design Lab. This time, it is with the James Bond’s car manufacturer, which has just unveiled its latest luxury SUV DBX, that the world leader in civil helicopters had announced a mysterious partnership in 2019. With an exclusive event in Courchevel in January, the two companies have just revealed the fruit of their collaboration: the Airbus ACH130 Aston Martin Edition helicopter.
The common goal of the two brands? To bring travellers who appreciate driving luxury cars, the same pleasures in aviation. And, possibly, allow James Bond to get to work from the air. Everything is in fact thought out so that the luxury car enthusiast can find his mark in this helicopter.
Frédéric Lemos, head of Airbus Corporate Helicopters, is satisfied with this partnership: “Aston Martin products are cars for drivers who like to be behind the wheel and who inspire an attachment comparable to the brand. They are therefore the ideal partner for us in the development of this superb new ACH130 Aston Martin Edition.”
This new helicopter is available in four exterior liveries. The cabin is fully designed by Aston Martin: The high-quality leather seats feature the brand’s legendary wings. And armrests offer passengers comfortable points of contact during their flight.
Finally, Airbus and Aston Martin have decided to let the future owners to customize a little bit this limited edition helicopter. Each model will therefore have an exclusive plaque on the dashboard exhibiting the logos of the two partners, the edition number of the helicopter and, on request, the name of the owner.
A brilliantly met challenge for business aviation
This aesthetic and technological jewellery required a year of work. The two companies have joined their values. Those of excellence and technology for Airbus, to those of art and of design for Aston Martin.
The design of this helicopter was an atypical challenge for the two partners. It was indeed necessary to adapt the world of the automobile to the constraints inherent in aviation while maintaining the performance of this fabulous helicopter. Seats, glove boxes and decor elements have therefore been reduced and resized. Finally, a number of meticulous certification tests came to close this long process.
“This first application of our design practices to a helicopter posed a number of interesting challenges, but we enjoyed overcoming them.” said Aston Martin project manager Marek Reichman.
And indeed, the Airbus ACH130 Aston Martin Edition perfectly combines design, performance and innovation. It brings an aesthetic level unmatched in the private and business helicopter sector. The helicopter can carry up to 5 passengers. It has a range of 650 km and can fly at a top speed of 250 km/h. And all this with the perfect comfort of a sports car.
“We are impatient to be able to offer our customers such a luxurious interior for helicopter transfers from Zurich or Geneva to Courchevel or Saint Moritz,” said François-Xavier Clerc, founder of AEROAFFAIRES.
The model is available only on request. The first deliveries are planned for the first quarter of 2020. And its price, although estimated at around 3 million €, is jealously kept secret.