Helicopter highlights at the Rio Olympics

With security in Rio as big a part of the Olympics as the sports themselves, it is not surprising that helicopters have been brought in to help police the event.

Already shots have been fired at a media bus and in a second incident a shot was fired near the equestrian centre following a security breach. Now we know horse riding is high risk but this is getting really dangerous!

Back to what we all want to know about – the helicopters. #avgeek

Airbus Helos Rio

Despite the current poor conditions across the Latin American market for helicopter OEMs, Airbus Helicopters, supported by its subsidiary Helibras, has said that a fleet of 90 rotorcraft is supporting counter-terrorism, defence and public security during the event.

As Grant Turnbull (@GrantTurnbull) reported earlier this year, turbulent market conditions caused various challenges for the helicopter market in Brazil including the renegotiation of Helibras’ contract with the government to deliver 50 H225Ms.

Airbus Helicopters has now revealed that as part of the Olympic effort the Brazilian army is flying four H225Ms as troop transport aircraft, alongside two AS332 Super Pumas and two H135 VIPs.

This is not the end of the story for the H225, however, as while operations may be going ahead in Latin America, over in Europe much of the fleet of civil H225s remains grounded following a crash in Norway which killed 13 people. Airbus Helicopters is working with EASA to return the aircraft to service.

In total, the Brazilian Army is flying 28 military helicopters, including seven Fennecs, 11 Panthers, six H225Ms and four Cougars.


The Brazilian Navy has an additional eight aircraft involved in the operation: four Ecureuils and four H225Ms.

According to Airbus Helicopters, in order to support these operations Helibras built specialised spare parts inventory and has stationed dedicated support teams in Itajubá and in Afonsos Park, the Air Force base that is housing the army’s helicopters during the Games.

Helibras delivered four military helicopters in July to Brazil's military - two for the army and two for the air force.

Helibras delivered four military helicopters in July to Brazil’s military – two for the army and two for the air force.

In Rio the military police has deployed five Ecureuils and one H145, while the civil police has mobilized an H125. An H135 and one AS365 have been made available to transport public officials.

Outside of the host city H125s, H135s, H145s and AS355Ns are all part of the operation.

Follow me: @GunshipGirl 

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