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Erickson drops 'Air-Crane' from name

Erickson Air-Crane has dropped Air-Crane from its name, while committing to expand its maintenance, repair and overhaul operations.

For more than 40 years, the firm's legacy Sikorsky S-64 heavy-lift helicopters were easily identified by their trademark orange paint jobs. In the past year, however, the company has augmented its fleet with medium-lift and other light choppers and planes through acquisitions.

Erickson said Tuesday it will begin supporting a variety of other products, such as the SA330J Puma, the Bell 214 and the Turmo engine.

"Erickson has a unique perspective on legacy product support," President and CEO Udo Rieder said in a statement. "We are excited to put our knowledge and capabilities at the service of operators around the world operating legacy helicopters."

There was no immediate word on how many — if any — new jobs would be created at Erickson's Central Point plant. Emails and telephone calls requesting information were not returned.

The rebranding was announced Monday at the Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo convention in Anaheim, Calif. The company used the same industry trade-show platform in 2009, when it moved its headquarters from Central Point to Portland.

Erickson said the name change reflects changes in the business created by the 2013 acquisitions of McMinnville-based Evergreen Helicopters and Brazilian aviation services company Air Amazonia, an independent oil and gas exploration company.

"This was truly a transformative year for our organization," Rieder said in a statement. "We now operate a diversified fleet and are well positioned to provide full-spectrum aerial services in support of our customers' needs, across an ever-broader number of markets."

Erickson's 90-aircraft fleet includes 20 heavy-lift S-64 Aircranes, deployed worldwide for commercial and government efforts ranging from firefighting, construction and logging to supply and logistics for military forces. It also provides flight crews.

Erickson has about 450 employees at its Willow Springs Road plant north of Central Point, where it manufactures, maintains and produces components for its aircraft.

The company has long been the main service provider for the S-64 and CH-54 helicopters, for its own fleet as well as other operators around the globe. Its capabilities range from major component and engine repairs and overhauls to complete airframe inspections, retrofits and upgrades.

The company has operations off Kirkland Road and at the Medford airport, as well as in Lucca, Italy.