AS355 NP Ecureuil Multi-Mission Helicopter, France
The AS355 NP Ecureuil produced by Airbus Helicopters is the latest version in the range of AS355 N Ecureuil twin-engine helicopters. High performance and reliability features make the AS355 NP an ideal platform for law enforcement and parapublic missions.
The multi-role helicopter can be used in a wide range of missions including surveillance, command and control, light search and rescue (SAR), border patrol, aerial support for ground missions and coastal surveillance.
The AS355 NP received EASA certification in February 2007. First deliveries commenced in mid 2007.
AS355 NP orders and deliveries
Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) signed a sale agreement with the Spanish Government to supply four AS355 NP and two EC135 helicopters for the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) in January 2008.
The AS355 NP helicopters delivered to Massachusetts State Police Department are deployed in law enforcement, fire-fighting and rescue missions.
Airbus Helicopters signed a contract with the Spanish DGT in February 2014 to supply four AS355 NP Ecureuil helicopters and three EC135 helicopters. The deliveries are expected to conclude by 2016.
The EC145 is a medium-sized twin-engine helicopter produced by Eurocopter.
AS355 NP design details
The twin-engine AS355 NP is based on the AS350 Ecureuil/AStar single-engine light helicopter. The fuselage integrates cabin, main rotor, low skid landing gear and tail boom section. The main rotor head is fitted with three blades manufactured using composite materials.
The high-performance rotors provide the helicopter high manoeuvrability even in confined spaces and ensure optimum safety in urban environments. The base configuration includes right side controls and fixed components of the removable dual controls.
The AS355 NP helicopter measures 12.94m in length and 3.14m in height. It has a rotor diameter of 10.69m. The maximum take-off weight with external load is 2,800kg. The helicopter can carry a useful load of 1,097kg.
Cockpit and avionics
The cockpit accommodates a pilot and co-pilot on high-back energy-absorbing seats including safety belts and shoulder harnesses. The open cockpit concept allows for the installation of law enforcement instrumentation and tactical consoles. The aircraft is certified for single or dual pilot operation under instrument flight rules (IFR) and can be equipped with a three-axis autopilot.
The AS355 NP is equipped with a Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD). The standard avionics suite for day and night VFR operations integrates an emergency locator transmitter (ELT), GPS colour map display, mode S transponder, Garmin intercom system, gyro-horizon, gyro-compass, turn and back indicator, and a redundant COM/NAV.
Cabin features of AS355 NP Ecureuil
The unobstructed cabin incorporating forward-looking seats ensure high visibility for all occupants. The cabin floor made of light-alloy sheet-metal is provided with tie-down rings. The cabin can be integrated with certified equipment for MEDEVAC and law enforcement operations. It can be easily accessed through optionally fitted footsteps and sliding doors.
The AS355 NP can accommodate a patient and two medical attendants along with payload for emergency medical service (EMS) missions. The helicopter can be integrated with Stylence interior layout for passenger transport. The low levels of vibration in the cabin also make the helicopter ideal for transportation in the corporate sector.
Two Turbomeca Arrius 1A1 engines, each with a rated power of 415kW, power the AS355 NP helicopter. The power-plant is integrated with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system. The fuel is stored in a standard tank with a capacity of 730L. The helicopter offers superior One Engine Inoperative (OEI) performance.
AS355 NP performance
The AS355 NP Ecureuil has a maximum service ceiling of over 6,096m and can climb at a rate of 10m/sec. The helicopter can fly at a maximum speed of 278km/h. Its maximum range without fuel reserve, at recommended speed, is 776km. The helicopter can endure airborne for four hours and 35 minutes without reserve at 102km/h.