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Papillon Group's to debut Golden Helicopter during 50th anniversary celebration on April 16

Papillon Group Golden Helicopter

One-of-a-kind Helicopter to make extraordinary arrival via 5-aircraft formation

For the first time, Papillon Group will unveil its "Golden Helicopter" on Thursday, April 16 at 2 p.m. The celebration will be the culmination of 50 years of hard work from three generations of one family.
The Golden Helicopter, also known as "Copter 50," will arrive at Papillon's Boulder City Aerocenter* via a 5-helicopter formation. This ceremonial formation symbolizes five decades of operation as the world's largest and longest-running helicopter tour company.

On board the helicopters will be three generations of the Halvorson family, including Elling Halvorson, chairman and founder, Papillon Group. Once the helicopters have landed, members of the Hualapai tribe will officially bless the brand-new helicopter. More than 250 guests are expected, including dignitaries, community leaders and industry influencers, as well as nearly 100 Papillon employees.

"This dazzling helicopter was created to commemorate our golden anniversary and to celebrate the greatest aviation team in the tourism industry," says Brenda Halvorson, president and chief executive officer, Papillon Group.

Beginning Thursday, April 23, the Golden Helicopter will be entered into Papillon's regular tour rotation and utilized throughout 2015.

Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority adds, "I’m pleased to recognize and congratulate Papillon Group on its 50th anniversary. The vision of Elling Halvorson helped bring a whole new type of attraction to Las Vegas – aerial tours. Papillon helped make Las Vegas the true gateway to the Grand Canyon and provide our visitors with an exhilarating new way to see the sights in and around Southern Nevada. Congratulations on 50 years and best wishes for many more."

The concept of a symbolic 50th anniversary helicopter was several years in the making. The unique gold livery with red eagle is a reversal of Papillon’s traditional red livery with the gold eagle. The original livery was designed by Airbus Helicopters, along with Papillon executives, in 2002 as a throwback to the original Grand Canyon helicopter logo designed by Elling Halvorson in 1965. The interior package for this helicopter was created and manufactured by Andy Mirabelli, owner, American Aircraft Interiors. The Airbus H130T2 is a light, single-engine helicopter equipped with the latest navigation and safety technology and a spacious modular cabin that can accommodate one pilot plus up to seven passengers. It is the quietest helicopter on the market: its Fenestron tail rotor and automatic variable rotor speed control result in a significantly reduced external sound level.

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