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Aérospatiale AS355
AS365 C Dauphin II
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D-HHBC Aérospatiale AS355 F2 Ecureuil II c/n 5214 - DHD Heliservice 'LEITUNGSBEFLIEGUNG SIEMENS energy' - Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg in Germany - 20 August 2023 Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg (EDWF)

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 Aérospatiale banner with the single-engined AS 350. The first flight of an Aerospatiale 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 (6,173 lb). The AS355 Ecureuil 2 is marketed in North America as 'TwinStar'. During September 2015, Airbus Helicopters announced that the company had decided to terminate the manufacture of the AS355 as part of an effort to focus on stronger-selling rotorcraft. Production of the AS355 continued through 2016 until the existing order backlog had been fulfilled.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the AS355 helicopters is AS55.

The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aérospatiale from France merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group. 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 June 1983, Aérospatiale AS355 F Twinstar s/n 5214 was registered N378E in the USA with Offshore Logistics Inc., Lafayette. In June 1984, the AS355 F was converted into an AS355 F1, as before registered N378E with Offshore Logistics Inc., Lafayette. On 27 December 1996, registration N378E was cancelled as exported to Autria. In January 1997, the helicopter was registered OE-XXZ as an Aérospatiale AS355 F1 with Heli Austria. In 2001, the OE-XXZ was registered with Knaus Helicopter and in May 2001, with Schider Helicopters-Services. In 2002, the AS355 F1 was converted into an AS355 F2, as before registered with Schider Helicopters-Services / SHS Schider Helicopter Transporte. In 2013, registration OE-XXZ was cancelled as exported to Germany. On 7 June 2013, the Aérospatiale AS355 F2 Ecureuil II was registered D-HHBC with SKY HELI at Schönhagen in Germany. In 2020, the D-HHBC entered service with Air Lloyd Flight Services GmbH, Bonn/Hangelar Airport. In May 2023, Aérospatiale AS355 F2 D-HHBC entered service with DHD - Heliservice GmbH, Groß Kreutz Heliport.
On 20 August 2023, AS355 F2 Ecureuil II D-HHBC was seen at Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg in service with DHD Heliservice GmbH with additional titles 'LEITUNGSBEFLIEGUNG SIEMENS energy'. Special to this helicopter is the Siemens Energy' SIEAERO's multi-sensor system attached to the underside of the helicopter. Equipped with 19 cameras and state-of-the-art 3D laser scanning sensors, it captures all relevant inspection data in a single flight over the power line, resulting in up to 12,000 images and detailed 3D data per kilometer of power lines. The use of artificial intelligence is an important advance in the inspection of power lines.

page last updated: 09-09-2023
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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