Helicopter lands on summit of Everest

There were rumours in mid-May that a helicopter had been spotted near the summit of Everest. These rumours have just been confirmed by EUROCOPTER, maker of the Ecureuil/AStar AS 350 B3 helicopter, that on 14 May, pilot Didier Delsalle landed on the summit of Mount Everest (8,850m) for 2 minutes. It's not clear how this particular helicopter managed to fly so high in the thin air, but it is evident that many test flights had been carried out. These included landing at the South Col (c8,000m) on 12 May, beating the previous record of 7,670m, held by a Cheetah helicopter. Test flights in April at Istres, France, recorded the chopper flying to an altitude of 8,992m. Could we see tourist flights to the summit in the not-too-distant future?

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