Aviationweb déjà vu                       Luchtvaart déjà vu helicopters photo gallery

Airbus Helicopters AS355
Aérospatiale AS350 B
F-GKMB Aérospatiale AS350 B2 Ecureuil c/n 2304 - HdF-Hélicoptères de France 'le Tour de france VIP 2' - Rotterdam The Hague Airport in Holland - 4 July 2010 more helicopters at Rotterdam

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. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the AS350 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.

Aérospatiale AS350 B2 Ecureuil c/n 2304 was built in 1989 as an AS350B and test flown as F-WYMD. On 20 December 1989, the Ecureuil was registered F-GKMB with Heli Rhône Alpes. On 1 July 1996, Ecureuil F-GKMB was registered with Loc Heli SARL, Tallard. On 20 November 1996, registered ownership changed to Sanpaolo Bail, and on 5 February 2001, the ownership returned to Loc Heli SARL. The F-GKMB is operated since by HdF – Hélicoptères de France, Tallard. The helicopter was modified first in to an AS350 BA and in 2002, the aircraft was modified in to an AS350 B2. In 2003, the F-GKMB was leased to Hel'Île de beauté and in 2004 HdF used the F-GKMB as a Fire Attack helicopter, both at Corsica. On 1 February 2011, Loc Heli SAS, Tallard, was registered as owner of the F-GKMB. On 4 July 2010, HdF – Hélicoptères de France' Ecureuil F-GKMB was seen at Rotterdam The Hague Airport in the Netherlands as "VIP 2" when used as VIP transport during Tour de France 2010.

page last updated: 20-07-2014
Photo Copyright © Henk Wadman, Schiedam, the Netherlands

aeroplanes history / photo index    helicopters photo gallery   Eurocopter EC120 productionlist   Micro Light Aeroplanes    European Airfields online