Papillon will unveil golden helicopter at 50th anniversary

The Papillon Group will celebrate 50 years as the world’s largest and longest-running helicopter tour company with a flying formation of five helicopters, including the company’s brand new golden Airbus H130T2 helicopter helicopter, which will be blessed by members of the Hualapai tribe after landing at at Papillon’s Boulder City Aerocenter in Nevada, before it joins the company’s fleet.

Founded by Elling Halvorson in 1965, the Papillon Group will recognise its 50th anniversary with three generations of the Halvorson family flying as part of the five-helicopter formation on 16 April. More than 250 people are expected to attend the event.

Brenda Halvorson, president and CEO of the Papillon Group, says: “This dazzling helicopter was created to commemorate our golden anniversary and to celebrate the greatest aviation team in the tourism industry.”

The original livery of the commemorative golden helicopter – also known as ‘Copter 50’ – was designed as part of a colloboration between Airbus Helicopters and Papillon executives in 2002. It was intended as a throwback to the original Grand Canyon helicopter logo designed by Elling Halvorson in 1965. The interior designed by Andy Mirabelli, owner of American Aircraft Interiors.

Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, adds: “I’m pleased to recognise 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.”

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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