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Eurocopter AS350 B
N35YY N353CE
Eurocopter AS355
CS-HGM Airbus Helicopters AS350 B3 Ecureuil c/n 3801 - HTA Helicópteros / Protecção Civil 17 - Coimbra Airport in Portugal - 30 August 2011 MBB BO.105DBS-4 PH-RWY

The Eurocopter AS350 B3 is a single-engined utility helicopter that can accommodate up to 7 passengers. Development of the AS 350 Ecureuil started in the early 70s under the Aérospatiale banner. The first flight of an AvcoLycoming LTS101-powered machine took place on 27 June 1994. The second prototype was fitted with an Arriel 1A and took to the air on 14 February 1975. Certification (with a Turboméca Arriel 1B turboshaft powerplant) was achieved on 27 October 1977. The single-engined AS 350B2, powered with a Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 engine was certified in April 1989. The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale from France merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group. The Eurocopter AS350 B3 is a high-performance version of the AS350 series, powered by a Arriel 2B engine equipped with a single channel (DECU) Digital Engine Control Unit with a mechanical backup system. The AS350 B3, made its first flight from Marignane on 4 March 1997. Latest upgrade of the AS350 is the AS350 B3e (enhanced) version that is fitted with a Turboméca Arriel 2D engine. The AS350 B3e model was approved by the EASA on 17 June 2011 and has next to the new engine, a new interior design, tail rotor improvements and optimised optional equipment. The new console panel’s concept “Multibloc” is installed since aircraft S/N 7218. The AS350 B3e has an upgraded MTOW of 2370 kg when dual hydraulic. Over 5200 AS350 models had been delivered worldwide. The AS 350 is marketed as Ecureuil. The AS350 Ecurieul is also known Squirrel and is marketed as Esquilo in Brazil and AStar in the USA. In the USA, the AS350 is also known as SuperStar. Since March 2015, Airbus Helicopters uses “H125” as marketing designation for the AS350 B3e helicopter.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator with Wake Category used to classify aircraft types for the AS350 / H125 helicopters is AS50.

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 2004-built Eurocopter AS350 B3 Ecureuil s/n 3801 was test flown with Eurocopter France registration F-WQDA. On 7 July 2004, the helicopter was registered EC-IXK in Spain with Sky Helicópteros. In 2008, the Ecureuil was transferred to HTA Helicópteros in Portugal and registered CS-HGM on 8 April 2008.
On 30 August 2011, HTA Helicópteros' Eurocopter AS350 B3 Ecureuil CS-HGM was seen in service as Protecção Civil 17 at Aeródromo Municipal Bissaya Barreto, the airport of Coimbra (LPCO). Next to the Protecção Civil titles, the Ecureuil wear a DECIF'11 "Portugal sem fogos depende de todos" badge.

page last updated: 10-01-2016
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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