Eurocopter AS350 Single Squirrel - Charter info
The Eurocopter AS350, one of the most successful helicopters in the Squirrel series, is described as “the reference in single-engine helicopters” by its manufacturer. They call it this for a very good reason: It’s one of the most flexible and cost effective helicopters on the market. It can be used in many situations that are not limited to charter. At Private Jet Charter, we love all types of aircraft and this helicopter’s versatility makes it one of our all times favourites. So let us tell you more about the AS350 Squirrel!
Facts about the Eurocopter AS350 Single Squirrel Private Helicopter
Aircraft Type: Helicopter
Range: 380 nm (703 km)
Cabin dimensions: Length 6 ft 7 in (2 m), Width 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m), Height 4 ft 3 in (1.30 m)
Luggage capacity: 35.3 cubic feet (1 m³)
Let’s start with some numbers
The first flight of the AS350 took place in June 1974, it was then introduced in 1975 to replace the Alouette II design. Its twin engine version, the AS355 didn’t fly before 1979. The maker, Eurocopter, (now Airbus Helicopter) has produced over 4900 aircraft in the Squirrel family more than 900 of which are the latest version of the AS350 (AS350 B3). The price per unit is between 2 and 2.3 million dollars (depending on the version, B2 or B3).
The length of the helicopter is 35.9 feet, its width is 35.1 feet (for the rotor, not the cabin) and its height is 10.2 feet. The cabin can take up to 6 passengers, however this is a very rare configuration as it relocates the pilot to the left side and the helicopter is generally fitted for 4 to 5 passengers. The cabin can take 95 cubic feet or passengers or cargo and an extra 35 cubic feet of luggage in the cargo holds at the back. The AS350 is certified to fly with 1 pilot.
The empty weight of the AS350B2 is 2690 pounds. It can take off as heavy as 4960 pounds. It is equipped with a single Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 turbine engine with a take-off power of 546 kW. It’s one of the most powerful available.
Helicopters can land anywhere, so you won’t need a runway which makes them more versatile than jets. The AS350 can fly for more than 4 hours. Its maximum range is 360 nautical miles at a speed of 122 knots which is far from its maximum speed of 155 knots.
The cockpit of the AS350 is fairly similar to the rest of the Squirrel family. It has not been completely rid of mechanical gauges. It is equipped with LCD screens that display the main engine and helicopter parameters (VEMD). Old fuses were replaced by safer circuit breakers. The glass windows provide the pilot with over 300 degrees of line of sight. The main and tail rotor blades are made of composite material with a very long service life (20000 hours) which adds to the aircraft reliability.
The cabin is made of mix of an extremely resistant alloy and thermoplastic. Its high performance engine boasts both low fuel consumption and easy maintenance even when deployed. When Eurocopter say high performance, they actually mean world record breaking performances, as you can see in the video below, the AS350 was the only helicopter to ever reach the summit of Mount Everest!
Travelling in a Eurocopter AS350 Single Squirrel
The cabin of the AS350 can be reconfigured but not just for comfort. The helicopter can in fact be used for a wide range of missions. For example, it can be used as an air ambulance, in which case, it will take a stretcher, one pilot and one or two medical attendants. In some countries, the AS350 is used for law enforcement, firefighting or power line inspections. The very low vibration level of the aircraft make it perfect for filming or photographing which is why it is so widely used for cinema and television. The AS350 is also used for rescue missions and sling loading.
On board the AS350 you will benefit from great views. It is perfect for sightseeing when you plan to fly for leisure. It also has a lot of room for luggage in its three compartments at the back. It can take a maximum of 660 pounds of material in its holds. The aircraft is also popular for business passengers as its low level of vibrations and noise allow you to have a conversation on board or to simply catch up on your work during the flight. Note that the AS355 dual engine version can also fly by night.