Eurocopter delivers EC120 to Winnipeg Police Service
Dec. 7, 2010, Winnipeg - Law enforcement in Manitoba’s capital city entered a new era Monday with the delivery of the first Eurocopter EC120 B helicopter for the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS).
By Carey Fredericks
The 200-kilometer an hour helicopter will provide faster response times, enhanced public and officer safety and serve as a ‘force multiplier’ providing versatile aerial support to police units on the ground.
“With the delivery of the EC120 B helicopter, Winnipeg has acquired a law enforcement tool that can reach any neighbourhood in the city in less than four minutes once airborne,” said police chief Keith McCaskill. “The single helicopter can free dozens of police cruisers on the ground, especially at night, and be employed on proactive aerial patrols to deter traffic offences and criminal activity.”
The EC 120 will also be used to search for lost citizens, track suspects, protect public figures, traffic monitoring and to help reduce the number of high speed vehicle pursuits which put officers and other motorists at risk.
The five-seat, 1.6-ton single-engine EC120 B has the latest generation technologies for simple, safe and cost effective operation and easy maintenance. It features high maneuverability, excellent visibility, a large cockpit and a low noise signature.
“The EC120 has a proven track record and has become a benchmark for police operations in Canada,” said Mr. Guy Joannes, President and CEO of Eurocopter Canada Limited. “We are delighted to welcome the Winnipeg Police Service as a customer and to the prestigious and successful group of highly specialized law enforcement Operators in Canada.”
The EC120 B will be crewed with a pilot and Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) who is responsible for quarterbacking the use of the helicopter and controls its hi-tech systems.
The city’s new EC120 B fully customized by Eurocopter Canada Limited is equipped with a gyro stabilized video camera with FLIR ULTRA 8500 thermal imaging system that tracks people by heat signatures, a SX16 NightSun spotlight, a GPS-based Paravion moving map system, a loud speaker, police radios and a MRC Strata video downlink system that allows the helicopter to transmit live aerial video feeds to a
police or fire department supervisor on the ground.
Eurocopter is a leader in the development of “quiet technologies” and the EC120B features a quiet main rotor system will all composite blades and a shrouded Feneston tail rotor which is very reliable, safe and quiet.
Flying over at 1,000 ft, the EC120 has a perceived noise of 68 dB, which means it is difficult to detect. Compared to regular street traffic, a car will be perceived at 72 dB and a motorcycle at 73 dB. Eight asymmetric composite blades in the tail rotor help reduce the helicopter’s noise level to 6.6 dB beneath the threshold set by ICAO. It’s the quietest helicopter in its class, and its engine emissions have low levels of pollutants.
The Eurocopter Canada factory in Fort Erie, Ontario has delivered a pair of EC 120Bs to the Calgary and Edmonton police forces and two to Vancouver where the RCMP flies the helicopter on behalf of several local police forces. York Region, immediately north of Toronto also flies an EC120 B.