The Airbus Helicopters AS365 N3 Dauphin 2 is a twin-engined
medium-weight transport helicopter powered by a pair of 851 hp Arriel 2C turboshafts equipped with a single channel DECU
(Digital Engine Control Unit) with manual reversion, mated to an uprated
main transmission for better single engine performance Turbomeca
Arriel C2 Turbine engines, accommodating up to 13 passengers and 2
crew. The twin-engine SA.365 was developed in 1973 by SNIAS (Société
Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale) out of the single-engine SA.360
Dauphin. The SNIAS SA.365 prototype F-WVKE, a SA.360 fitted with 2
Turbomeca Arriel 1A Turboshafts, flew first on 24 January 1975. In 1977
production commenced with the SA.365-C, with deliveries starting in
1978. An improved version of the SA 365C Dauphin 2, the SA.365N flew
first on 31 March 1979. The SA365 N differs from the SA365C in having
Arriel 1C turbine engines, a re-profiled fuselage, fully retractable
undercarriage and increased fuel capacity in new under-floor tankage.
Deliveries of the production model began in 1982. Deliveries of the
AS.365 N2, equipped with two Turboméca Arriel 1C2 turboshafts, started
in 1990. From 1984, SNIAS operated under the name of Aérospatiale. The
helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale from France
merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group. A new Eurocopter
designation was added:
EC 155 B1, originally known as the AS 365 N4. The Dauphin 2 is in use
in several military and civilian roles. The AS 565 Panther is the military version of the Dauphin. The AS 366 G1,
powered by two Textron-Lycoming LTS.101-750B-2 turboshafts, is used by the United States Coast Guard under the
designation HH-65A Dolphin. The Dauphin 2 is manufactured under licence in China as the Harbin Z-9 Haitung and in
Brasil as the Helibras MH-1. Already over 1100 AS 365/366/565 and EC155 versions have been produced.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator with Wake Category used to classify
aircraft types is AS65 for the AS365 N3 helicopters.
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.
The 2003-built Eurocopter AS365 N3 c/n 6665 was test flown as F-WWOS. On 21 November 2003, the Dauphin 2 was registered OO-NHU
in Belgium with Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen, Ostend. On 25 November, the aircraft was delivered in primer colours at Ostend
via Troyes. The airframe was painted in the yellow NHV colours in the painthall of 'Bedrijfswagens de Groote' in Wingene. On 15 September 2012,
Airbus Helicopters AS365 N3 OO-NHU was seen with SAR titles when used for sightseeing tours during Heldair Show Maritiem at Den Helder Airport.