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Aérospatiale AS350 B
Eurocopter AS355
D-HFAX Aérospatiale AS350 B2 Ecureuil c/n 2585 - FJS-Helicopter Lufttransport GmbH - Bunde in Germany - 6 September 2009 FJS-Helicopter Lufttransport

The Aérospatiale AS350 B2 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.

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.

FJS-Helicopter Lufttransport GmbH was founded in 1993. Next to their homebase Flugplatz Damme in Niedersachsen, Germanby, FJS-Helicopters Lufttransport has operational bases at Schwerin-Pinnow and Neubrandenburg-Trollenhagen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The 1993-built Aérospatiale AS350 B2 Ecureuil s/n 2585 was test flown as F-WYMG. On 23 March 1993, the aircraft was registered HB-XZJ in Switzerland with ALAG, Mollis. On 16 June 1997, Heli Bernina was registered as operator with ALAF as before as owner. On 9 November 1999, registration HB-XZJ was cancelled and on 10 December 1999, the helicopter was registered D-HFAX in Germany with FJS-Helicopter Lufttransport GmbH, Damme. Due to engine problems during lifting operation over VW car factory in Hannover, Ecureuil D-HFAX made an emergency landing on factory roof on 8 September 2011. The Ecureuil had damage to boom and blades. The helicopter was rebuild and back in service with FJS-Helicopter Lufttransport GmbH.

page last updated: 10-01-2014
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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