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Aérospatiale AS350B
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SE-HJC Aérospatiale AS350 B1 Ecureuil c/n 1940 - Osterman Helicopter - heliport Emmen in Holland - 25 April 2009 helicopters in Emmen

The Aérospatiale AS350 B1 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.

On 19 September 1986, Aérospatiale AS350 B1 Ecureuil s/n 1940 was registered LN-OPB in Norway with Caseb Aviation as owner and A/S Morefly, Alesund, as operator. The 1986-built Ecureuil was transferred to Helitrans, Trondheim. Registration LN-OPB was cancelled on 17 April 2007 and the next day the helicopter was registered SE-HJC in Sweden with Osterman Helicopter, Bradstad, as operator and SG Finans Norge, Sverige filial, as owner. On 24 May 2011, Osterman Helicopter i Göteborg, Save, was registered as operator of the Ecureuil. Osterman Helicopter was refurbished in the autumn of 2011 and AS350 B1 SE-HJC was registered with the new company Osterman Helicopter i Östersund AB as operator on 16 November 2011 The new company went bankrupt on 4 September 2012 and the business was closed: the SE-HJC returned to the owner SG Finans Norge, Sverige filial, and was offered for sale. On 14 December 2012, registration SE-HJC was cancelled as exported to Australia. On 19 March 2015, the helicopter was registered ZK-HHX as an AS350 B2 in New Zealand. On 29 May 2015, the AS350 B2 ZK-HHX was registered with Helilink, Auckland.
On 25 April 2009, Aérospatiale AS350 B1 Ecureuil SE-HJC was seen at the Heli-Holland heliport near Emmen, the Netherlands. At that time, the OstermanHeli Ecureuil SE-HJC was equiped with the TopEye, an helicopter-based airborne topography scanner system.

page last updated: 20-04-2016
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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