The Eurocopter EC155 B1 is a medium-weight multi-role utility twin
engine helicopter accommodating up to 12 passengers and 2 crew. The EC155 B is a development of the
AS 365N Dauphin 2, with 40% larger cabin
area, a new five-bladed Spheriflex main rotor with an extremely low
vibration level and 'glass cockpit'. The EC155 B1 is powered by a pair
of Turbomeca Arrius 2C2 turbine engines. The new generation of Fenestron
tail rotor takes part in the decrease in external noise level. This tail
rotor has 10 blades spaced irregularly around the hub. Development
of the EC-155, initially known as AS-365N-4 Dauphin started
in September 1996. The development of the AS365 N4 wide body helicopter
was announced at International Paris Airshow in June 1997. A mockup of
the AS365 N4 was shown at the International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget and on 17 June 1997,
the prototype EC155, F-WDFK, a rebuilt Dauphin, flew first at Marignane. The first pre-poduction EC155
B flew on 11 March 1998. The French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) and
the German Government Agencies (LBA) certification was awarded in December
1998 and the EC 155 got its single-pilot IFR certificate on 25 January 2000.
The first three Eurocopter EC 155 Bs were officially handed over to the German
Federal Ministry of the Interior / Bundesgrenzschutz (BGS) at the Bonn-Hangelaar
base of the BGS on 16 March 1999. The EC155 B1 is a development
of the EC155 B with more powerful engines and improved performance at high altitude
and in hot temperature conditions. Deliveries of the EC 155B1 version began in September 2002.
More than 150 EC155s had been sold.
On 25 February 2008, the 2007-built Eurocopter EC155 B1 c/n 6778 was
registered G-ISST in the UK as chartered by Bristow Helicopters Ltd., Aberdeen.
Eurocopter EC155 B1 G-ISST was operated by Bristow out of Den
Helder-De Kooy on offshore flights to the gas -and oil fields in the
Dutch sector of the North Sea. Due to the weather conditions EC155 B1 G-ISST "BHL53A" was diverted to Groningen Airport Eelde
on 10 January 2011. Registration G-ISST was cancelled as exported to
Belgium on 13 August 2012. The EC155 B1 Dauphin 2 was registered
OO-NHQ with NHV - Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen, Ostend, Belgium, as
operator and NHV Invest bvba, as owner, on 16