- 22 Jun 2021
- Tony Kioussis
- Aviation Podcasts
During its life, the Ecureuil turbine helicopter has been progressively improved and the AS350B-2 is a development of the AS350BA with a higher rated 732 shp Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 turboshafts. This gives better performance and a 661 lb higher gross weight compared with the 350BA. This versatile helicopter has a skid undercarriage and a 5-seat interior.
The Eurocopter AS 350B-2 costs between $675k for a 1990 model and $2m for a 2012 model, according to Aircraft Bluebook’s summer 2021 data. While these values represent the average retail price for the respective model years, actual sale prices can be above or below the average, depending on a combination of airplane-specific information, such as the time on an aircraft’s airframe and engine, the maintenance condition, and more.
There are a number of options in the single-engine turbine market competing with the Eurocopter AS 350B-2, including the MD 600N which can hold up to eight passengers and is powered by a 600shp Rolls-Royce 250-C47 turboshaft engine
When it arrived on the market, the Eurocopter AS 350B-2 offered operators an improved performance over its predecessors, mostly due to the engine upgrade. The Eurocopter AS 350B-2 has been particularly popular approximately 25 years of manufacturing, with more than 1,100 aircraft delivered, and the aircraft still attracts plenty of interest in the pre-owned market today.
The Eurocopter AS 350B-3 is another upgrade to the Écureuil product line, and is based on the AS 350B-2 but powered by a higher-rated FADEC-controlled 847shp Turbomeca Arriel 2B1 turboshaft. In common with the other members of the popular helicopter family, the AS 350B-3 is a versatile multi-role helicopter with a standard or high-clearance skid undercarriage and a standard five-seat interior.
Eurocopter AS 350B-2 Helicopter Overview
By Gerrard Cowan
The Eurocopter AS 350B-2 turbine helicopter was an upgraded model within the long-established Écureuil family which has served the international VIP and corporate markets well over the years. The Écureuil line dates back to the 1970s and continues into the present day, represented by the Airbus H125.
The AS 350 product line has carved out a major chunk of the market, with more than 6,800 helicopters produced over the years (factoring all model variants), according to Airbus.
Among the upgrades offered by the AS 350B-2 was a new engine that boosted the platform’s power. The AS 350B-2 made its first flight in 1987, with manufacture starting in 1990. It can carry up to six passengers (plus a pilot) and has a range of about 360 nautical miles.
What features does the Eurocopter AS 350B-2 offer?
The Eurocopter AS 350B-2 brought a higher-rated 732shp Arriel 1D1 turboshaft to the aircraft, and also offered an increased gross weight. The model is designed with a skid undercarriage.
What came before and after the Eurocopter AS 350B-2?
The AS 350B-2 was the third of the Arriel-powered AS 350 aircraft to be launched onto the market. It followed the AS 350B and the AS 350B-1. (A version with a Lycoming engine was also produced as the AS 350C, followed and replaced by the AS 350D).
The AS 350B-2, itself, was replaced by the AS 350B-3 (more details below), which Eurocopter developed in the late 1990s to offer a further range of improvements.
As mentioned above, the line is today represented by the Airbus H125 (formerly the AS 350B-3e), which is a highly versatile platform in today’s market.
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