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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 SNIAS (Societe nationale industrielle aérospatiale) banner with the single-engined AS 350. The first flight of an Aérospatiale 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. The AS355 Ecureuil 2 was marketed in North America as the 'TwinStar'. In September 2015, Airbus Helicopters announced that the AS355 production was to continue through 2016 until the existing order backlog was fulfilled and then terminated.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the AS355 helicopters is AS55.

The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale 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.

On 17 June 1991, the Aérospatiale AS355 F2 Ecureuil II s/n 5483 was registered F-WYMA. On 16 July 1991, test-registration F-WYMA was cancelled. On 22 July 1991, the Aérospatiale AS355 F2 was registered SE-JET in with Norrlands Flyg AB in Sweden, where the helicopter was operated as an Ambulance Helicopter on behalf of SMA Helicopter Rescue AB. On 1 March 1993, registration SE-JET was cancelled as exported. In the same year, the helicopter was registered first as OK-WIQ and then as OM-WIQ with ATE-Air Transport Europe in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. On 30 July 1996, the 1991-built AS355 F2 was registered OK-WIQ with Delta System-air s.r.o.. and was as before in service with Delta System-air operated before as an ambulance helicopter. On 15 May 2006, the Ecureuil II was registered I-SFLY in Italy with MPS Leasing as owner and Star Fly, Ponte Galeria, as operator. On 16 January 2014, the AS355 F2 was registered HB-ZKB with Helipool in Switzerland. On 6 September 2018, registration HB-ZKB was cancelled as exported to the UK. On 7 September 2018, the Aérospatiale AS355 F2 Ecureuil II was registered G-NBPL with Nigel Brumt Properties in the UK.
On 14 June 1997, the Aérospatiale AS355 F2 Ecureuil II OK-WIQ was seen in service as 'LZS Krystof 18' at Liberec aerodrome as the AIR RESCUE SERVICE - LZS Liberec - KRYSTOF 18. LZS Krystof 18 is based at Liberec airfield (LKLB) in the Czech republic and is operated by Delta System-air s.r.o.

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

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