The Eurocopter AS355 is a twin-engined light utility helicopter that can accommodate up to 7 passengers.
Development of the Ecureuil started in the early 70s under the Aérospatiale banner with the
single-engined AS350. The first flight of an Aerospatiale AS350 took place on
27 June 1994. A twin-engine version of the AS350, the AS355 Ecureuil 2 flew first on 28 September 1979.
The Eucureuil 2 entered production as the AS355 E. Early 1982, the AS355 F with a higher max takeoff weight replaced
the AS355 E in production. The AS355 F was followed by the AS355 F1 in January 1984 and
AS355 F2 in December 1985. The AS355 Ecureuil 2 is marketed in North America as the 'TwinStar'.
The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aérospatiale from France merged in January 1992 to form the
The 1982-built SNIAS AS355 F1 Twin Star s/n 5215 was exported to Swaziland and
registered ZS-HMF in South Africa first with a civilian operator. The ZS-HMF was transferred to the Bophuthatswana Air Force. On 10 August 1992,
registration PH-HVH was reserved in the Netherlands and on 9 September 1992, the helicopter was
registered as an AS-355F with Heli-Holland Holding B.V., Emmer-Compascuum. The PH-HVH is operated by Heli-Holland since.
On 8 October 1992, the registered type for the PH-HVH was changed into a SNIAS AS 355 F1. Twin Star PH-HVH was based at Lelystad and
mainly used as an ambulance helicopter until it replaced in 2005 the
on its Coast Guard operations for the Dutch Navy out of Hato AB near
Willemstad, Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. SNIAS AS.355-F1 PH-HVH
was photographed in its new Antilles Coast Guard colours at the
Heli-Holland heliport in Emmer-Erfscheidenveen. Prior to the dissolution
of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, the Coast Guard was
known as the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Coastguard. Today, the coast
guard of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean is known as the
Dutch Caribbean Coastguard or DCCG. The unit is a joint effort between
all constituent countries within the Kingdom. In 2012, Heli Holland was
replaced on the contract with the DCCG - Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard by
FB Heliservices. The sole Heli Holland' Eurocopter AS355F1 PH-HVH made its last flight
in service with DCCG - Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard on 12 October and
was replaced by two FB Heliservices' AgustaWestland AW139's. Heli Holland started its
operations at Curaçao in 1997. After being withdrawn from duty with the
Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, Eurocopter AS355-F1 PH-HVH returned to the
Heli Holland heliport near Emmen in the Netherlands.