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Eurocopter AS350 B3 Ecureuil / AStar helicopter

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Specifications Comment this helicopter
Picture AS350B3_Ecureuil
General
Manufacturer Eurocopter
Type AS350 B3 Ecureuil / AStar
Introduced 1/1/1975
In production? Yes
Units produced 500
Price US $ 2,300,000.00
Dimensions
Overall Length 42.5 ft
Length 35.9 ft
Height 11 ft
Width 0 ft
   
   
Description

The Airbus Helicopters AS350 B3 Écureuil (Squirrel) is a light utility helicopter originally manufactured by Aerospatiale. This helicopter is also known as the Astar.

Development began in the 1970s, when it became clear that the venerable Alouette II needed a successor. Civilian sales of the Gazelle had been underwhelming compared to the Alouette and so a new civilian focused helicopter was neededto fill the gap.

The Ecureuil introduced several innovations that turned it into the cost effective aircraft it was intended to be from the outset. This was the helicopter that first introduced the Starflex main rotor technology and utlised a rolled sheet structure, adapted from automotive manufacturing.

The high-performance B3 model represents years of refinement, but still uses the same original design at its core.

The AS350 B3 has found favour with private aviators, charter operations, airlines, medical rescue and transport services, government departmens and law enforcement.

At the heart of the AS350 B3 lies an Arriel 2B engine with a single channel digital control system as well as a mechanical backup control system. The B3/2B1 variant of the helicopter has dual-channel FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control), dual hydraulics and uses the Arriel 2D engine instead.

The AS350 B3 can typically accomodate between four and six passengers.

As can be expected from a helicopter intended to live up to the Alouette, the AS350 B3 has unmatched high altitude performance. In fact, it is famous for being the first (and so far only) helicopter to land on the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on planet Earth. An AS350 B3e also broke records by landing on the highest mountain in Mexico, the Pico de Orizaba.

Many operators have rapid reconfiguration solutions in place for the B3, allowing them to change equipment quickly for different mission parameters.The B3 has a long list of optional equipment, inluding real-time data links, rescue hoists, underslung cargo hooks, cabin tie downs and removable seating. It is an incredibly versatile aircraft.

The AS350 B3 has seen extensive use globally in nations such as Russia, Brazil (including the Brazilian army) and the United Kingdom.

Hundreds of AS350s are operational in Brazil alone. In fact, Brazilian Airbus subsidiary Helibras manufactures a large number of AS350s domestically.

In the UK the AS350 has been used for flight training as a replacement for the Aerospatiale Gazelle, itself meant as a successor to the Alouette II. Now, however, it is being fazed out by the more modern EC130 and EC135 models.

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Design features
  • Composites/fibre-glass starflex rotorhead
  • Fiberglass reinforced plastic rotor blades
  • Fuselage build from thermoformed polycarbonate semi-monocoque sections
  • Skid type landing gear
Description

The Airbus Helicopters AS350 B3 Écureuil (Squirrel) is a light utility helicopter originally manufactured by Aerospatiale. This helicopter is also known as the Astar.

Development began in the 1970s, when it became clear that the venerable Alouette II needed a successor. Civilian sales of the Gazelle had been underwhelming compared to the Alouette and so a new civilian focused helicopter was neededto fill the gap.

The Ecureuil introduced several innovations that turned it into the cost effective aircraft it was intended to be from the outset. This was the helicopter that first introduced the Starflex main rotor technology and utlised a rolled sheet structure, adapted from automotive manufacturing.

The high-performance B3 model represents years of refinement, but still uses the same original design at its core.

The AS350 B3 has found favour with private aviators, charter operations, airlines, medical rescue and transport services, government departmens and law enforcement.

At the heart of the AS350 B3 lies an Arriel 2B engine with a single channel digital control system as well as a mechanical backup control system. The B3/2B1 variant of the helicopter has dual-channel FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control), dual hydraulics and uses the Arriel 2D engine instead.

The AS350 B3 can typically accomodate between four and six passengers.

As can be expected from a helicopter intended to live up to the Alouette, the AS350 B3 has unmatched high altitude performance. In fact, it is famous for being the first (and so far only) helicopter to land on the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on planet Earth. An AS350 B3e also broke records by landing on the highest mountain in Mexico, the Pico de Orizaba.

Many operators have rapid reconfiguration solutions in place for the B3, allowing them to change equipment quickly for different mission parameters.The B3 has a long list of optional equipment, inluding real-time data links, rescue hoists, underslung cargo hooks, cabin tie downs and removable seating. It is an incredibly versatile aircraft.

The AS350 B3 has seen extensive use globally in nations such as Russia, Brazil (including the Brazilian army) and the United Kingdom.

Hundreds of AS350s are operational in Brazil alone. In fact, Brazilian Airbus subsidiary Helibras manufactures a large number of AS350s domestically.

In the UK the AS350 has been used for flight training as a replacement for the Aerospatiale Gazelle, itself meant as a successor to the Alouette II. Now, however, it is being fazed out by the more modern EC130 and EC135 models.

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Design features:
  • Composites/fibre-glass starflex rotorhead
  • Fiberglass reinforced plastic rotor blades
  • Fuselage build from thermoformed polycarbonate semi-monocoque sections
  • Skid type landing gear
Performance
Persons 7
Max. Range 411 mi
Cruise Speed 161 mph
Max. Speed 178 mph
Max. rate of Climb 1675 ft/min
HOGE ceiling 0 ft
Service Ceiling 15100 ft
Gross Weight 4960 lb
Empty Weigt 2588 lb
Useful Load 2372 lb
Dynamic system
Fuel Capacity 142 gallons
Number of Engines 1
Engine Type Turbine
Engine Code Turbomeca Arriel 2B
Horse Power 847
Rotorhead Starflex, hingless rotor hub
Number of rotorblades 3
Rotor Diameter 35.1 ft
Number of tail rotorblades 2
Tailrotor Diameter 6.4 ft
Blueprints & model
Manufacturer Website manufacturer..
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