The Aérospoatiale AS350 BA 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 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 2 April 1985, the 1984-built
Aérospatiale AS350 B Ecureuil c/n 1792 was registered F-GECM with CM-CIC
Bail as owner and entered service with Héli France. On 30 May 1989,
ownership of the AS350 B changed to Textron Finance Company; on 6
September 1990 to BNP Bail; on 4 February 1999 to BNP Lease &
Citicapital and on 20 September 1999 to Citicapital. The Ecureuil
entered service with Trans Helicoptère Service at Lyon-Bron Aeroport.
Over the years the AS350 B was modivied in to an AS350 BA. On 15
September 2009, Ecureuil F-GECM was registered with Arkata
Aviation, Gzira GRZ, Malta. AS350 BA Ecureuil F-GECM was registered with
Societe Aéroparts Maintenance, Nersac, on 4 July 2011 and registration
F-GECM was cancelled as exported to Ivory Coast on 6 October 2011. Aérospatiale AS350 BA Ecureuil F-GECM was
seen at Rotterdam The Hague Airport in the Netherlands as "VIP 4" when used as VIP transport during Tour de France 2010.