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MBB BO.105
MBB / Kawasaki BK.117
B-41 MBB BO-105CB-4 c/n S.0241 - RNethAF 299 sqdn. "UN" - Teuge Airport in Holland - 13 March 1995 vliegveld Teuge (EHTE)

The MBB Bo.105 is a five-seat lightweight, general-purpose helicopter. Development of the Bo.105 started back in 1959 when Bölkow designed the Bo.103 helicopter. The Bo.103 single-seat flew first on 14 September 1961. The two-seat Bo.104 followed this study-project. Due to marketing reasons this project was stopped in favour of the five-seat Bo.105. Design work for the Bo.105 began in July 1962. Construction of the first of three prototypes began in 1964. The first Bo.105 prototype D-HAKO s/n V-1 was destroyed in ground tests and written off in October 1966. The second machine, D-HECA s/n V-2, was powered by two 317shp Allison 250C18 turboshafts and on 16 February 1967, the BO105 took off for its maiden flight in Ottobrunn (near Munich), Germany. On 14 May 1969 Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm GmbH (MBB) was formed and development of the Bo.105 continued with the first production BO-105A, D-HABV s/n S-1, flying on 11 April 1970. The breakthrough came in 1974 when the German Army ordered the BO 105 as a connection and observation helicopter. In January 1992 the MBB Bo 105 became part of the large helicopters types row of Eurocopter when the helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale from France merged to form the Eurocopter Group. In 1993 the BO 105 CBS with a 25cm fuselage stretch and extra window was certificated. Over the years, license agreements for the BO105 CB/CBS versions with the Philippines, Indonesia and Spain were concluded, and for the BO105 LS, a cooperation agreement with Canada. Until production ended in 2001, as the BO105 was superseded by Eurocopter’s EC135, a total of 1,406 BO105s had been delivered to 55 customer nations.

As a result of the merger between the Eurocopter parents Aérospatiale-Matra; DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA) and Construcciones Aeronàuticas Sociedad Anonima (CASA) in July 2000, the Eurocopter group became a division of the new formed EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space company). Taking off into 2014, EADS was rebranded as "Airbus Group". Uniting all its activities under a single brand, its helicopter division Eurocopter was rebranded as Airbus Helicopters on 8 January 2014.

The 1975-built MBB Bo-105CB s/n S-241 was testflown with Messerschmitt Bölkow Blohm testregistration D-HDGL. In August 1975, the Bölkow designed BO-105CB was delivered as B-41 at Deelen AFB to the 299 squadron of Groep Lichte Vliegtuigen (GpLV); in fact the Army operating within the Royal Netherlands Air Force. In 1985, the B0-105CB was upgraded by MBB to the Bo-105CB-4 model. On 3 February 1992, Bo-105CB-4 B-41 was one of the helicopters that got damage by an attack of an political action group in a hangar at Deelen AFB. Attempts were made to set fire to eight Bölkow helicopters. One helicopter burned out completely, a second one was badly damaged and from the other six helicopters, instruments were destroyed. Bo-105CB-4 B-41 could be repaired. At the end of 1993, five Bo-105CB helicopters of the 299 sqdn at Deelen, including MBB Bo-105CB-4 B-41, were armored at the logistics squadron at Soesterberg AFB and sprayed completely white for an UN deployment of four of these helicopters to Bosnia. The Bölkows also got an emergency radio and GPS built in. At the end of September 1994, the four helicopters sent out returned to the Netherlands without taken action in Bosnia. On 13 March 1995, when seen at Teuge Airport, MBB Bo-105CB-4 B-41 was still in the white UN colors of this mission. On 13 January 2003, the 299 squadron was disbanded and the remaining MBB BO-105 helicopters were withdrawn from use. MBB Bo-105CB-4 B-41 is used since as a training object at Gilze-Rijen AFB.

page last updated: 04-03-2020
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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