The Aérospatiale AS350 B 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. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the AS350 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.
On 13 February 1984, the 1983-built Aèrospatiale AS350 B Ecureuil s/n
1737 was registered SE-HNF in Sweden with Svenska Finance AB as owner
and Sterner Aero as operator. On 15 January 1990, the SE-HNF was
transferred to Helifly AB. On 13 August 1993, registration SE-HNF was
cancelled as exported to Germany and the helicopter was registered D-HFSC with P. Braun as
owner and HFS - Helicopter-Flug-Service GmbH, Kassel, as operator. On 22
August 2001, Eurocopter AS350B Ecureuil D-HFSC of HFS crashed near
Beverungen, Germany, in an emergency landing due to engine failure. The
airframe was sold to France, rebuilt as an Eurocopter AS350BA and on 10 September 2002 registered F-GULP
in France with Eurotech Srl, Montagna in Valtellina, Italy. On 20 September 2002, Eliservice SAS di Paglicci, Cap, Italy,
was registered as owner of the F-GULP. On 21 November 2006, the AS350BA was registered with Ariane Srl, Sondrio, Italy.
On 23 February 2007, the F-GULP was registered with BPU Esaleasing Spa, Bergame, Italy. On 17 October 2013, the Eurocopter
AS350 BA F-GULP was registered with Miragefly Srl, Arezzo, Italy.
The HFS Aèrospatiale AS350B Ecureuil D-HFSC was seen at the Heli-Holland heliport on 24 April 1995. That year,
HFS - Helicopter-Flug-Service GmbH, Kassel, operated out of the Heli-Holland heliport near Emmen in the Netherlands
with four of their Ecureuil helicopters on different times when on duty for the building of a new high-tension network.
The Ecureuils towed the electricity cables from power pylon to power pylon on the section Eemshaven - Emmen - Zwolle.
HFS - Helicopter-Flug-Service GmbH ended its activities on 31 December 2004.