Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel | light utility helicopter
We can’t deny that aviation technology is essential in every country. In this article, we will discuss one of the versatile aircraft in the market. We are talking about the Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel. This aircraft comes with excellent cruise speed that lowers the overall cost for a customer. It is ideal for lifting operations, passenger transport, and photography.
What makes Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel a good aircraft?
Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel is a versatile aircraft. It features comfortable seating, a spacious cabin, and all forward-facing seats. It also has an unobstructed cabin for easy viewing. You can expect unrivaled reliability and performance with this aviation technology.
Another unique feature of the Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel is its fast cruise speed that can meet the standards for different missions. With its simple and modern design, it can offer maximum comfort by reducing vibration and sound levels in the cabin. AS350 has a maximum weight of 2100 kg and an empty weight of 1321 kg. It has a maximum speed of 155 KN (287 km/h) and a cruise speed of 110 KN (204 km/h).
The Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel is a light utility helicopter, and the first-ever Aerospatiale helicopter produced on the assembly line. With the aircraft, the “Starflex” rotor-head was launched. It is a system wherein the number of moving parts is a quarter of the standard construction, lowering the production costs and service intervals.
Since it is a single-engine utility helicopter, it has a huge presence in different military forces worldwide. It is a famous five-passenger aircraft. The AS350 Squirrel is among the most frequently produced aircraft in history. The model has about 4,271 total productions in 2019, as it began in 1975.
Specifications of Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel
The following are the specifications of the Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel.
Cruise speed – 140 knots (260 km/h)
Engine type – Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 2D
Range – 349 nautical miles (630 km)
Max altitude – 7,010 meters
Max takeoff weight – 2,250 kg
Time range – 4 hours and 30 minutes
Other names of Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel
For its 45 years of existence, a squirrel has already picked up different names. Since it is a french made aircraft, it has a formal name of Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil. The Squirrel is the translation of Ecureuil which means squirrel in french. The following are other names of the helicopter:
The Squirrel Helicopter – commonly used name
Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil – its formal name from 1992 to 2014
Airbus H125 – it is the proper name of the aircraft way back in 2014 when Eurocopter became AirBus
History of AS350
Aerospatiale, a French aerospace company, manufactured the original AS350 Squirrel. From its prototype, the company aims to produce an affordable civil chopper that is versatile and powerful. With that, the aircraft was powered by a single Turbomeca Arriel 1B engine, and luxury/ comfort was not a priority.
The first flight of the Squirrel helicopter was on June 27, 1974. It commenced full production way back in 1975. In March 1978, the first commercial release of the chopped was held worldwide, except in North America.
The Eurocopter Group
Aerospatiale and German defense company DASA (Daimler-Benz Aerospace AG) joined forces to establish the Eurocopter Group. It only means that the AStar AS350 became Squirrel, and the two companies managed the aircraft production.
The merge of the two companies aimed to secure the world with high military investment levels. Meanwhile, the group also produced the AS350BB variant way back in 1996. It was designed to meet the UK military’s rotary-wing training needs. It leads to Eurocopter Squirrel HT.1 and HT.2 follow-ups designed for the British Military and Army Air Corps.
The involvement of AS350 with the Brazilian military fleet has been remarkable. They are the top investor for these helicopters. The Brazilian Air Force ordered over 600 AS350’s and 45 are currently in service. The Eurocopter became Airbus on January 1, 2014, when Eurocopter Group changed their brand name to Airbus Helicopters.
Even though the re-brand doesn’t have material effects on production operations, the Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel became AirBus H125. The production is still consistent even after the re-brand. Its presence in the Australian Defence Force has also grown.
Buying a Squirrel Helicopter
A brand new Squirrel or H125 helicopter is around US$ 2.9 million. You can order it from the Airbus Helicopters company directly on their contact form. Meanwhile, it is highly recommended to purchase a pre-owned Squirrel which is more affordable at $2 million and lower if you’re willing to buy an older model.
It can be your perfect chopper for photography, lifting operations, and more. It is designed with high-quality comfort and quality, making it worth it to buy.
To sum it up, the Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel is a quality aircraft that offers a combination of comfort, design, and excellent performance. It is made by a company that is dedicated to providing quality and superior design aircraft.