The Airbus Helicopters AS355 is a twin-engined light utility helicopter
that can accommodate up to 7 passengers. Development of the Ecureuil
started in the early 70s under the Aérospatiale banner with the
single-engined AS 350. The first flight of an Aérospatiale AS-350 took
place on 27 June 1994. A twin-engine version of the AS350, the AS355
Ecureuil 2 flew first on 28 September 1979. The Eucureuil 2 entered
production as the AS355 E. Early 1982, the AS355 F with a higher max
takeoff weight replaced the AS-355E in production. The AS355 F was
followed by the AS355 F1 in January 1984 and AS355 F2 in December 1985.
The AS355 N recieved the DCAG-F certification on 13 June 1989 and
deliveries of this model started in 1992. The AS355 N is fitted with two
Turbomeca Arrius 1A engines and a Full Authority Digital Engine Control
(FADEC) system for better M.T.O.W and better single engine performance.
The AS355 NP Ecureuil recieved the EASA certification on 15 February
2007. The AS355 NP Ecureuil 2 is fitted with two Turbomeca Arrius 1A1
turboshaft engines and a new AS350 B3-based main gearbox, increasing
maximum take-off weight to 2,800 kg (6,173 lb). The AS355 Ecureuil 2 is
marketed in North America as the 'TwinStar'. The ICAO Aircraft Type
Designator for the AS355 helicopters is AS55.
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.
In September 1987, the 1987-built SNIAS AS355 F2 Twin Star s/n 53563 was
registered N79D in the USA with DN Air Charter Inc. In May 1991, the
aircraft was re-registered N300LG. Registration N300LG was cancelled and
the helicopter was registered RP-C1556 in the Philippines with
Philippines Comunications Satelite. On 10 October 2001, the
helicopter arrived by road as RP-C1556 at the Heli-Holland heliport near Emmen in The
Netherlands. On 7 December 2001, the helicopter was registered PH-HHJ
with Heli Holland Holding BV, Emmer-Compascuum. Heli-Holland operates three TwinStar helicopters: next to the AS.355-F2 PH-HHJ,
PH-HVH. Registration PH-HHJ was cancelled on 28 February 2008: the
BvL expired over a year. SNIAS AS.355 F2 PH-HHJ received a major
overhaul with Heli Holland Technics; painted in the new Heli Holland
colors and was restored to the register on 1 October 2008.