The 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.
The 2002-built Eurocopter EC130 B4
3624 flew first with Eurocopter France test registration F-WQDI and was used for certification with the Rijks Luchtvaart Dienst, the Dutch CAA.
On 27 November 2002, the EC130 B4 Ecureuil was registered PH-ECZ in the Netherlands with Heli Holland Holding BV, Emmer-Compascuum. Although
registered in the Netherlands, EC130 B4 Ecureuil PH-ECZ was operated in Ronda, Malaga in Spain. In 2009, the helicopter was painted in attractive Ascari Club colours.
On 16 April 2014, registration PH-ECZ was cancelled as exported to Australia. On 30 April 2014, the Eurocopter EC130 B4 was registered VH-WYH
in Australia with Whitsunday Air Services Pty Ltd., Hamilton Island, as operator and Helibiz Pty Ltd., as owner.