Airbus Helicopters AS550 C2 Fennec is a lightweight, multipurpose
military helicopter based on the AS350 B2 Ecureuil. Eurocopter AS350 B2
itself is a single-engined utility helicopter that can accommodate up to
7 passengers. Development of the AS350 series 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 in October 1977. The single-engined AS 350B2, powered with a
Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 engine was certified in April 1989.
The military Eurocopter AS550 construction is based on a reinforced
high-strength glass fibre and aramid airframe. The helicopter is fitted
with sliding doors on each sider. The baggage compartment is installed
behind the main cabin and is accessed via a door on the starboard side.
A cargo sling, rated at 1,160kg, and a 204kg hoist can be used. Danish Army AS550C2 helicopters are
fitted with a wire cutter and armed with the
Systems & Electronics HeliTOW sighting system and TOW
anti-tank missiles. The armed versions of the AS550 can be fitted with
coaxial weapons, rockets, torpedoes and various other munitions.
The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale from
France merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group. 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 1987, the Danish Government ordered twelve Aérospatiale AS550 C2
Fennec helicopters for delivery in 1990. The first Fennec destined for
Denmark, AS550 C2 c/n 2090, flew first in Marignane as F-ZWCZ on
13 January 1989. All twelve AS5550 C2 helicopters were delivered to
Hærens Flyvetjeneste (Danish Army) at Vandel AB between August 1990 and February 1991. In 2003, Flyvestation Vandel closed and both helicopter units operated at that time by Hærens Flyvetjeneste moved
to Karup AB, and were combined into Eskadrille 724 Panservaerns Helikopter Kompani that was operated further under Royal Danish Air
Force control. The 1990-built Aérospatiale AS5550 C2 s/n 2339 was delivered as P-339 to Hærens Flyvetjeneste (Danish Army) on 22 February 1991. In 2003, Fennec P-352
was transferred to Eskadrille 724 of the Royal Danish Air Force. The
operating base of Esk 724 is Flyvestation Karup. On 8 July 2011,
AS550 C2 Fennec P-352 and P-339 were seen at Groningen Airport Eelde in the
Netherlands on their way home from Koksijde in Belgium to Flyvestation
Skydstrup in Denmark. When seen at Eelde, Fennec P-339 was painted in
green RDanAF colours, while P-352 was painted in the old Hæren colours.