TYPE: Light utility helicopter.
PROGRAMME: Derived from AS 350 Ecureuil; PT-1 prototype first flew (unannounced) June 1999 and registered F-WQEV in May 2000; second prototype (F-WQES) assisted in 200 hour test programme, including high-altitude testing in Albuquerque, USA, September 2000; JAA certification 14 December 2000; FAA certification 21 December 2000; revealed only in February 2001, when initial production aircraft (also 3,000th of Ecureuil family) handed over to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters at HeliExpo. Four preproduction helicopters delivered to launch customers in first half of 2001.
CURRENT VERSIONS: EC 130B4: Initial production version.
CUSTOMERS: Announced orders include Blue Hawaiian (10 in 2001), Rocky Mountain Helicopters (10 in 2001), Mont Blanc Helicopteres (two) and five to UK customers; deliveries started in June 2001 and totalled 10 in 2001 and 30 in 2002.
COSTS: US$1.6 million (2002).
DESIGN FEATURES: AS for AS 350B3, but considerably modified external appearance, with windscreen side panels, doors and landing gear from EC 120, plus Fenestron based on EC 135, although symmetrical, carried by redesigned tailboom. Dual hydraulic system from AS 355N. Cabin width increased by 25cm to give additional 23% internal space, accommodating seven or eight seats and enlarged (10%) baggage compartment, optional air conditioning. Retains AS 355B3 engine and transmission, but automatic system (in conjunction with dual-channel FADEC, plus third, digital, back-up channel) matches rotor speed to flight conditions for noise reduction; 84.3 EPNdB flyover rating is 7 dB below ICAO limit and 0.5 dB under special Grand Canyon National Park restrictions achieved by use of parabolic rotor tips.
LANDING GEAR: Emergency flotation system available. Tailskid. Handling wheels.
POWER PLANT: One 543kW Turbomeca Arriel 2B1 turboshaft with transmission rated at 632kW for T-O, with FADEC. Fuel capacity 540 litres in single tank.
ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and up to seven passengers in transport role; or pilot and one or two stretcher patients plus two medical attendants in casualty evacuation configuration. Dual controls.
SYSTEMS: 4.5kW 28V DC starter-generator. 15 Ah battery; 28V DC cabin outlet.
AVIONICS: Comms: Shadin S800 T altitude encoder; Bendix/ King KT 76C Mode Ð¡ transponder and NAT AA95 ICS.
Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 2004-2005