GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (April 23, 2014) – One of America’s leading entrepreneurs is the proud owner of a new, customized AS350 B3e helicopter produced by Airbus Helicopters Inc. (AHI). David MacNeil, owner of MacNeil Automotive Products Ltd. in Bolingbrook, Ill. has taken delivery of the aircraft that he will use in business travels for his highly successful company that manufactures the acclaimed WeatherTech automotive products.
Airbus Helicopters’ AS350 B3e is the latest evolution in the highly successful AS350 A-Star series with nearly 40 years of technological evolution to meet the needs of operators in the U.S. market. It is the best-selling, all-purpose, high performance single engine helicopter. The MacNeil aircraft is the first equipped with a Garmin G500H “glass cockpit” multifunction electronic flight display system installed by AHI under its Federal Aviation Administration issued Supplemental Type Certificate.
The AStar helicopter, which will be operated by MacNeil Aviation, will be a valuable asset that, MacNeil said, will enable him to conveniently travel and meet with his company’s customers.
“I researched all the helicopters on the market and the AStar came out on top as the best aircraft for our mission. It is a time machine. It compresses time and furthers our goals of manufacturing in America and hiring American workers,” MacNeil said. “I’m really impressed with the helicopter, the AHI team and the company. I have confidence in the factory and the people that produced it and that will support it.”
“We are pleased and honored that an extremely successful businessman like David MacNeil selected an Airbus Helicopters AS350 as the best aircraft for his company,” said Marc Paganini, President and Chief Executive of Airbus Helicopters Inc. “David’s choice is a vote of confidence in the capabilities of our helicopter and of the ability of our people to provide him with world class customer support.”
MacNeil has gained wide acclaim in recent years for his advocacy of manufacturing his products in the U.S. with American workers. The entire WeatherTech line of more than 15,000 car floor mats, rooftop cargo carriers, side-window deflectors, license plate frames and mud flaps is made in America, much of it in the company’s suburban Chicago factory. His new helicopter was assembled by American workers at AHI’s plant in Columbus, Miss.
The AS350 B3e is the market leading single engine helicopter and due to its performance, safety and reliability is selected by operators for a wide variety of missions, including corporate travel, law enforcement and air medical services. It is equipped with a Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine with a dual Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system. The Arriel 2D engine offers increased reliability and decreased maintenance costs and is fitted with an Engine Data Recorder.
About Airbus Helicopters Inc.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. (AHI) is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry’s most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters serving all markets and missions. The company’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.