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    The Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil "Squirrel" is a single engined intermediate helicopter originally manufactured by Aérospatiale (now part of Eurocopter Group). The AS350 is marketed in North America as the AStar. The AS355 Ecureuil 2 is a twin engined variant, while the Eurocopter EC130 is a derivative of the AS350 airframe. Development began in the early 1970s to replace the Alouette II, and the first flight took place on 27 June 1974. Despite the introduction of the EC130, production of the Eurocopter AS350 remains strong.

    On May 14, 2005 an AS350 B3 piloted by Eurocopter test pilot Didier Delsalle touched down on the top of Mt. Everest, at 8,850 meters  .This record has been confirmed by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.

    On April 29, 2010 a stripped-down AS350 B3 succeeded in rescuing three alpinists from Annapurna at 7100 m, one at a time, the highest such rescue ever.General characteristics

    •          Crew: 1

    •          Capacity: 6

    •          Length: 10.93 m

    •          Rotor diameter: 10.69 m

    •          Height: 3.14 m

    •          Disc area: 89.75 m²

    •          Empty weight: 1,174 kg

    •          Max takeoff weight: 2,250 kg

    Performance

    •          Never exceed speed: 287 km/h

    •          Cruise speed: 245 km/h

    •          Range: 662 km

    •          Endurance: 4.1 hrs

    •          Service ceiling: 4,600 m

    •          Rate of climb: 8.5 m/s


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