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Aérospatiale AS350 B
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PH-PLA Aérospatiale AS350 B2 Ecureuil c/n 2878 - ex KLPD - heliport Emmen in Holland - 17 April 2002 helicopters in Emmen

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. Since March 2015, Airbus Helicopters uses “H125” as marketing designation for the AS350 B3e helicopter.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator 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.

In 1995, two AS350 B2 were ordered for the Dutch Police. Eurocopter France built these helicopters and AS.350B2 Ecureuil s/n 2878 was test flown as F-WQDC in June 1995. After being re-registered F-WQDL the airframe was delivered to Maastricht Airport on 07 July 1995. The Ecureuil was registered PH-PLA on 4 September 1995 with Schreiner Aviation Group BV. On 31 October 1995, the PH-PLA was registered with the Korps landelijke Politie Diensten. Ecureuil PH-PLA was operated with the KLPD-Korps Landelijke Politie Diensten out of Amsterdam-Schiphol. The Dutch Police operated the Ecureuil not only on patrol and inspection flights: equipped with a fire fighting system with high-pressure gun the Ecureuil was also used as a fire fighter. Early 2002, both Ecureuils were offered for sale and sold to Heli-Holland. On 17 April 2002, the Ecureuil PH-PLA & PH-PLB arrived on delivery to Heli-Holland at their heliport near Emmen. On 29 May 2002, AS350 B2 PH-PLA was registered with Heli-Holland BV, Emmer-Compascuum. The PH-PLA was operated in Finland on a long-term lease contract, before it was sold in Sweden and registered SE-JHL with Malmskogens Helikopterleasing AB on 14 March 2003. Registration PH-PLA was cancelled the same day. On 11 September 2007, the SE-JHL was registered with Tampereen Helikopterikeskus, Orivesi, Finland. On 15 October 2012, Malmskogens Aerocenter AB, Linköping, was registered as owner of the Aérospatiale AS350 B2 SE-JHL.
On 17 April 2002, the Aérospatiale AS350 B2 PH-PLA was seen as in basic KLPD colors at the Heli-Holland heliport near Emmen.

page last updated: 20-01-2016
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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