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SA.313 Alouette II
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AS350 B
Eurocopter AS332 L
S-419 Eurocopter AS532U2 Cougar II c/n 2419 - Koninklijke Luchtmacht 300 sqdn - Hoogeveen airfield in Holland - 9 January 2008 vliegveld Hoogeveen (EHHO)

The Airbus Helicopters AS.332L Super Puma is a twin-engined medium-weight transport helicopter for up to 2 crew and 22 passengers powered by two Turboméca Makila 1A1 turbine engines. The SNIAS SA.332 Super Puma was derived from the SA.330 Puma, that flew first on 15 April 1965 under Sud-Aviation banner. On 1 January 1970, Sud-Aviation merged with a number of other French aerospace companies to form SNIAS (Société Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale). Development of the AS.332 Super Puma with more powerful engines and an enhanced rotor system started in the late 70s. On 7 September 1977, the Makila-powered test-bed prototype SA.331 c/n 001 F-WZAT, the modified SA330 B Puma c/n 1541, flew first. The first production standard Super Puma, AS332-01 F-WZJA, was flown on 13 September 1978. On 1 February 1980, the AS332 C flew first, followed by the AS332 L version (L for long) on 10 October. SNIAS AS 332L Super Puma was certificated in 1983. From 1984, SNIAS operated under the name of Aérospatiale. The Super Puma is in use in several military and civilian roles. In 1990, the military Super Puma designations were changed from AS332 to AS532 Cougar to distinguish between the civil and military variants of the helicopter. The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aérospatiale from France merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group. New Eurocopter designations for the further developed helicopters based on the AS332L series were added: EC 225 Super Puma (civilian versions) and EC 725 Cougar (military versions).

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.

On 29 October 1993, the Dutch Government signed a purchase agreement for seventeen Eurocopter AS532 U2 twin-engine helicopters for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. In May 1996, the first two AS 552 U2 Cougar mk.II helicopters, S-400 and S-419, entered service with the RNethAF. All 17 AS352U2 Cougars in service with the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) are operated by 300 squadron based at Soesterberg AFB. At that time 300 squadron was part of the Tactische Helikopter Groep - Klu (THG-Klu). On 4 July 2008, the THF merged with the Maritime Helicopter Groep (MARHELI) and the Defence Helicopter Command (DHC) was created. In anticipation of the closure of Soesterberg AFB, 300 squadron moved to Gilze Rijen AFB on 10 September 2008. Soesterberg AFB was permanently closed on 13 June 2009. The Cougars perform a very wide range of assignments in service with the Air Force: the transport of troops, passengers, VIPs or equipment, Medevac, Quick Reaction Force (QRF), and occasionally fire-fighting duties.
The 1996-built Eurocopter AS532 U2 s/n 2419 was testflown as F-ZKBD and entered service as S-419 with the Koninklijke Luchtmacht - Royal Netherlands Air Force on 23 May 1996. Registration S-419 is built up out of the S of the support-role of the helicopter and the last three didgets of the s/n 2419.
On 9 January 2008, Eurocoper AS532 U2 Cougar mk.II S-419 came in for fuel at Hoogeveen airfield as 'Wildcat 10'. At that time, Cougar S-419 was equipped with inflatable sponsons.

page last updated: 14-01-2014
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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