The Aérospatiale AS350 B is a single-engined utility helicopter that can
accommodate up to 7 passengers. Development of the AS 350 Ecureuil
started in the early 70s under the Aérospatiale banner. The first flight
of an AvcoLycoming LTS101-powered machine took place on 27 June 1994.
The second prototype was fitted with an Arriel 1A and took to the air on
14 February 1975. Certification (with a Turboméca Arriel 1B turboshaft
powerplant) was achieved on 27 October 1977. The single-engined AS 350B2,
powered with a Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 engine was certified in April 1989.
The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale from
France merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group. The
Eurocopter AS350 B3 is a high-performance version of the AS350 series, powered by a Arriel
2B engine equipped with a single channel (DECU) Digital Engine Control
Unit with a mechanical backup system. The AS350 B3, made its first
flight from Marignane on 4 March 1997. Latest upgrade of the AS350 is
the AS350 B3e (enhanced) version that is fitted with a Turboméca Arriel
2D engine. The AS350 B3e model was approved by the EASA on 17 June 2011
and has next to the new engine, a new interior design, tail rotor
improvements and optimised optional equipment. The new console
panel’s concept “Multibloc” is installed since aircraft S/N 7218. The
AS350 B3e has an upgraded MTOW of 2370 kg when dual hydraulic. Over 5200
AS350 models had been delivered worldwide. The AS 350 is marketed as
Ecureuil. The AS350 Ecurieul is also known Squirrel and is marketed as
Esquilo in Brazil and AStar in the USA. In the USA, the AS350 is also known
As a result of the merger between the Eurocopter parents Aérospatiale-Matra; DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA)
and Construcciones Aeronŕuticas 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 August 1983, the 1983-built Ačrospatiale AS350B Ecureuil s/n 1715 was
registered D-HLOS in Germany with Loos KG as owner and HFS -
Helicopter-Flug-Service GmbH, Kassel, as operator. On 28 April 1989, the
helicopter was registered OO-VCZ in Belgium with Van Cauwelaert
Helicopters NV. On 21 September 1989, registration OO-VCZ was cancelled
and the Ecureuil was restored as D-HLOS in German register with HFS -
Helicopter-Flug-Service GmbH, Kassel. In March 1991, registration D-HLOS
was cancelled and the AS 350 B was registered HA-BDC in Hungary with
the Hungarian National Emergency & Ambulance Service (HNAES; Országos Mentőszolgálat – OMSZ).
In service with OMSZ / Hungarian Air Ambulance, the helicopter was based at Budaörs
and operated with call sign ‘Medicopter 33’. On 19 August 2009, the
HA-BDC was damaged beyond repair when the Ecureuil rolled over during
take off / maintenance tests at Balatonfüred.