Air International 1996-03
M.Hardy - Eurocopter's Climbing Squirrel
One of six AS 350Bs in service with HC 723, Royal Australian Navy, at Nowra, New South Wales, for survey, utility and pilot navalisation training duties.
Two HA-1 Esquilos (licence-built HB 350L1s) in service with the 1st Aviation Battalion Aviacao do Exercito Brasileira (Brazilian Army aviation branch) at Taubate, Sao Paulo. They are tasked with tactical support and reconnaissance duties.
An AS 550C2 during firing trials of the ESCO HeliTOW anti-tank missile. Four tube launchers are carried on fuselage stub wings and the optical sighting system is mounted above the cockpit.
An AS 550 carrying test registration F-WYML and armed with a 20mm GIAT M621 cannon and TDA 68.12 launchers for 12 x 68mm (2.75in) rockets.
20mm GIAT M621 cannon mounted in the port door of a French Air Force AS 350L2, canying temporary test registration F-ZVLT, displayed at the Paris air show in 1995.
Eurocopter AS 555AN Fennec twin-turbine armed helicopter with side view (top) of single-engined AS 350BA Ecureuil and scrap view (bottom) of AS 355N civil twin.
London Metropolitan Police AS 355N, G-METD, on patrol; one of six AS 355Ns operated by police forces in the United Kingdom. The fairing under the nose houses a remotely-controlled television camera and a ‘Nightsun’ steerable searchlight is mounted under the fuselage aft of the skid undercarriage.
Quantel’s AS 355N, G-CLIP, is fitted with a Bendix/King EFIS 40 ‘glass cockpit’ electronic flight instrumentation system for single-pilot IFR operations. It entered service in spring 1995, replacing the company’s single Squirrel.
Appropriately-registered AS 355F1 Twin Squirrel G-OHMS is operated by South Western Electricity plc’s subsidiary, the Bristol-based SWEB Helicopter Unit, for power line inspections and associated duties. However, as seen here when giving pleasure flights at the Northampton Balloon Festival in August 1994, it is at other times loaned to Compass Helicopters, which are also based at Bristol
An ALAT AS 555, registered F-ZVLN for its visiting the United Kingdom to demonstrate the twin Turbomeca Arrius concept to police forces. It is seen here visiting UK distributor McAlpine Helicopters’ facility at Hayes, Middlesex, in the early 1990s.
Identified here, by the stencil immediately aft of the cockpit door, as AS 355M2, the naval variant of the Ecureuil 2 was later designated AS 555SN. It is seen equipped with a chin-mounted Bendix/King RDR-1500B radar and carrying two homing torpedoes. Note the taller undercarriage to facilitate carriage of torpedoes.