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Airbus Helicopters AS355
Aérospatiale AS350 B
OK-WIQ Aérospatiale AS355 F2 Ecureuil II c/n 5483 - Delta System-air "LZS Krystof 18" - Liberec airfield, Czech - 14 June 1997 lifeliner helicopters

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 Aérospatiale AS350 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 the 'TwinStar'. 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.

LZS Krystof 18 is based at Liberec airfield in the Czech republic and is operated by Delta System-air s.r.o. Their Eurocopter AS.355F-2 OK-WIQ was photographed on 14 June 1997 at Liberec aerodrome as the AIR RESCUE SERVICE - LZS Liberec - KRYSTOF 18. The SNIAS AS.355F-2 Ecureuil 2 OK-WIQ entered service with Delta System-air s.r.o. on 30 July 1997. The OK-WIQ (ex. F-WYMA; SE-JET; OK-WIQ; OM-WIQ) was operated before as an Ambulance helicopter with Norrlandsflyg AB in Sweden and with ATE-Air Transport Europe in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. On 15 May 2006, the Ecureuil was registered I-SFLY in Italy with MPS Leasing as owner and Star Fly, Ponte Galeria, as operator.

page last updated: 09-01-2014
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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