Aerial Tour Provider Papillon Marks Its Golden Anniversary with a New Golden Helicopter

  • Photograph by Isaac Brekken
    Papillon's Copter 50 Photograph by Isaac Brekken
  • Three generations of family. Left to right: Jake Tomlin, Brenda Halvorson, Elling Halvorson, Geoff Edlund.
  • Photograph by Isaac Brekken
    Papillon's headquarters in Boulder City, Nevada. Photograph by Isaac Brekken
  • Photograph by Isaac Brekken
    Halvorson family at Papillon's headquarters in Boulder City, Nevada. Photograph by Isaac Brekken
  • Photograph by Isaac Brekken
  • Photograph by Isaac Brekken
  • Photograph by Isaac Brekken

Papillon Group, the world’s largest helicopter tour operator, which operates at the Grand Canyon, marked its golden anniversary, appropriately enough, by introducing a new helicopter with a gold-painted exterior. The single-engine Airbus H130T2, named Copter 50, had each exterior component painted gleaming gold in a process that took 600 man-hours to complete. Thursday, April 16, marked its first public appearance when it flew as part of a five-helicopter formation carrying three generations of the company’s founding Halvorson family. Upon arrival at Papillon’s facilities in Boulder City, Nev., the helicopter was ceremonially welcomed by members of the Hualapai tribe—native to the Grand Canyon region—in front of invited guests and Papillon personnel before it was placed in regular tour rotation the following week. (papillon.com)

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