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AS350 at a glance :
The Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil (Squirrel) is a single-engine light helicopter originally designed and manufactured in France by Aérospatiale (now Airbus Helicopters). In North America, the AS350 is marketed as the AStar. The AS355 Ecureuil 2 is a twinengine variant, marketed in North America as the TwinStar. In the early 1970s, Aérospatiale initiated a development program to replace the aging Alouette II design. The result of this program was the AS350. The first prototype flew in 1974 (powered by a Lycoming LTS101 turboshaft), and the second one (powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 1A), one year later. Deliveries to customers began in 1978. Prior to 2013, the type had been manufactured principally at Eurocopter's Marignane facility, France; Eurocopter opted to disperse its helicopter production activities, and the AS350 production and final assembly activities began in Columbus, Missouri for deliveries to U.S. commercial helicopter market. The Astar has been Eurocopter's biggest-selling product in the US commercial market. Over time, the AS350 Écureuil/AStar has received further development; while the aircraft's design remains broadly similar, various aspects and systems such as the rotor system, powerplants, and avionics have been progressively improved. The AS350 is powered either by a Lycoming LTS101 or Turbomeca Arriel powerplant that drives a three-blade Starflex main rotor. Both the main and tail rotors make use of composite material and are deliberately designed to minimize corrosion and maintenance requirements. The AS350 was also developed to comply with the stringent noise requirements in place in locations such as national parks. The aircraft can also be quickly started up and shut down, which is often useful during emergency medical services roles. The type is well known for its high-altitude performance and has seen frequent use by operators in such environments. The AS350 has hydraulically assisted flight controls, the controls remains operational, albeit with more difficulty, during a hydraulic failure. Later-production aircraft have new design features such as the integration of an Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), autopilot, glass cockpit… New variants of the Arriel-powered AS350B, the AS350 B1, AS350 B2, and AS350 B3, have been introduced; the later B3 differing from preceding models by the increasing use of digital systems, such as the Garmin-built G500H avionics suite and FADEC engine control system. The AS350 has proven popular in a wide range of roles; as such, multiple cabin configurations can be used, between four and six passengers in a typical seating configuration, and large sliding doors can be fitted to either side of the cabin. With some operators, cabin equipment has been designed to enable the internal space to be rapidly reconfigured for differing operational roles. Public service operators, such as those in law enforcement, often have forward looking infrared and other mission systems installed on their aircraft. Other optional equipment includes rescue hoists, underslung cargo hooks, internal cabin tie-downs, and removable seats. Records : In 2005, an AS350 B3 touched down on the top of Mount Everest, at 8,848 m (29,030 ft). In 2010, an AS350 B3 rescued alpinists from the slopes of Annapurna at an altitude of 6,900 m (22,640 ft), and later (2013) in Everest’s Yellow Band at 7,800 m (25,590 ft)! Worlwide success : The AS350 AStar has been successful in the US market, having become the most popular helicopter platform for American governmental agencies. For instance the US Customs agency is now the single largest operator of the type in the world . The AS350 is also used by in Army and Navy in Brazil, UK, Australia, France (Gendarmerie).
- Engine manufacturer: Turboméca
- Engine type: Arriel 1D1
- Power: 624 shp
- Serial number: 9159
- Year of manufacture: 1991
- Total hours: 9’723
- Total cycles: 23’432
Cabin floor plan:
- Length: 6’56 ft
- Height: 4’26 ft
- Width: 5’41 ft
- Baggage (external): 35 Cu.ft
- Volume: 61 Cu. ft
Inspection Status
- 150h/12 month airframe check: 07/2016
- 300h/1 year engine check: 03/2016
- 600h/24 month airframe check: 05/2016
- 12 years/Grande visite check: 07/2016
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