he Airbus Helicopters EC130 B4 Ecureuil / AStar is a 7-8 seat single
engine helicopter, powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 2B1 turbine engine. The
EC130 B4 (formerly known as the AS350B4) is essentially a development of
the AS350B3 at a higher gross weight, with the following changes: an
enlarged cabin and cargo compartment incorporating triple front seats as
standard and using EC120 type windows; installation of the “moustache”
type skid landing gear off the EC120; and utilising an EC135-type
fenestron anti-torque tail rotor system. The Eurocopter EC130 B4 cruises
at nearly 230 km per hour. The external noise emission, 8.5dB under the
ICAO requirement, is low. The cabin width is 2.03m compared to 1.87m for
the AS350 B2 Ecureuil. Thanks to its large access, its spacious cabin
and its quiet interior the EC130 B4 is not only suitable for the
passenger transport but also as EMS helicopter. Fitted with the
appropriate mission equipment, the EC130 B4 can also perform Police and
S.A.R. missions. Due to the low external noise emission, the EC130 B4 is
in the USA nicknamed 'Eco Star'.
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.
Eurocopter France used the test-registration F-WQDP for the 2002-built
Eurocopter EC130 B4 c/n 3604 prior to delivery to Heli-Holland. On 20
February 2003, the Ecureuil was registered PH-ECJ with Heli Holland
Holding BV, Emmer-Compascuum, and arrived the same day at the Heli-Holland heliport near the orbital road of Emmen in the
Netherlands. On 27 June 2010, Eurocopter EC130 B4 PH-ECJ was substantial
damaged in a fatal crash near the Slufter and the Noordzeeboulevard
at the Maasvlakte near Rotterdam. Unfortunately four occupants were killed and the fifth severely wounded.
On 7 December 2010, registration PH-ECJ was cancelled as destroyed.