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PH-HVH Aérospatiale AS355 F1 Twin Star c/n 5215 - Antilles Coast Guard - heliport Emmen in Holland - 5 April 2005 helicopters in Emmen

The Airbus Helicopters 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 SNIAS (Societe nationale industrielle aérospatiale) banner with the single-engined AS 350. The first flight of an Aérospatiale AS-350 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 AS-355E in production. The AS355 F was followed by the AS355 F1 in January 1984 and AS355 F2 in December 1985. The AS355 N recieved the DCAG-F certification on 13 June 1989 and deliveries of this model started in 1992. The AS355 N is fitted with two Turbomeca Arrius 1A engines and a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system for better M.T.O.W and better single engine performance. The AS355 NP Ecureuil recieved the EASA certification on 15 February 2007. The AS355 NP Ecureuil 2 is fitted with two Turbomeca Arrius 1A1 turboshaft engines and a new AS350 B3-based main gearbox, increasing maximum take-off weight to 2,800 kg. The AS355 Ecureuil 2 was marketed in North America as the 'TwinStar'. In September 2015, Airbus Helicopters announced that the AS355 production was to continue through 2016 until the existing order backlog was fulfilled and then terminated.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the AS355 helicopters is AS55.

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.

In August 1982, Aérospatiale AS355 F1 Twin Star s/n 5215 was exported to Swaziland and registered ZS-HMF in South Africa with Heliquip P/L, Swaziland. 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. The 1982-built Twin Star PH-HVH was based at Lelystad and mainly used as an ambulance helicopter until it replaced in 2005 the PH-HHC on its Coast Guard operations for the Dutch Navy out of Hato AB near Willemstad, Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. 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 helicopters. 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. On 5 January 2015, registration PH-HVH was cancelled as the CofA was over a year expired. At that time the helicopter received major overhaul with Heli Holland Technics.
On 5 April 2005, the Heli Holland' Aérospatiale AS355 F1 Twin Star PH-HVH was seen in Antilles Coast Guard colors at the Heli Holland heliport near Emmen.

page last updated: 19-01-2016
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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