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 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 110 EC155s had been sold.
Eurocopter France used the test-registration F‑WQEP for the 2003-built Eurocopter EC155 B1 c/n 6652.
On 22 March 2004, the EC155 B1 was registered N672LE with HEC01 LLC, Wilmington (DL), USA.
VIP-Eurocopter EC155 B1 N672LE is based at Blackbushe in the UK. On 1 March 2008, the N672LE was noted at Rotterdam Airport
in the Netherlands, in company with Gulfstream GV-SP N671LE. The same day, EC155 B1 N672LE visited Seppe airfield in the Netherlands.
Registration N672LE was cancelled on 9 December 2009 and the Dauphin 2
was registered G-LBAI in the UK with Polaris Aviation Ltd., Leatherhead,
on 11 December 2009. As before the G-LBAI is based at Blackbushe.