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 Aerospatiale 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.
The SNIAS AS355 F1 Twin Star s/n 5049 was built in 1981
and registered N357E in the USA as an Aérospatiale AS-355E Twin Star on 23 December 1981. After
the registration N357E was cancelled on 19 February 1988, the helicopter was registered I-VIEY in Italy
by Eli Alpi on 9 June 1988 as an AS.355-F1 Ecureuil 2. In 1997 the helicopter was sold to Heli-Holland and
arrived in non-flying condition in February 1997 as I-VIEY in Emmen. On 21 February 1997, the registration PH-HHC
was reserved and the helicopter was registered with Heli-Holland Holding B.V., Emmer-Compascuum, on 18 November 1997.
The PH-HHC is operated by Heli-Holland since, first based at Hato AB near Willemstad, Curacao in the
Netherlands Antilles. At Hato AS355 F1 PH-HHC was operated for the Dutch Navy / Koninklijke Marine until
it was replaced in April 2005 by AS355 F1 Twin Star PH-HVH.
The PH-HHC returned to the Netherlands where the machine
went through a total makeover and became as good as new when it was ready. The maintenance was carried
out by Heli Holland Technics at the Heli-Holland heliport in Emmer-Erfscheidenveen near Emmen.
On 29 April 2014, registration PH-HHC was cancelled as the CofA was over a year expired.