Press Release

author Jean-Louis ESPES


South African Police Service signs for its 7th Eurocopter AS 350 B3 at AAD 2004

The South African Police Service, operator of the biggest Eurocopter fleet in Southern Africa, is signing a contract for an additional AS 350 B3 helicopter at the Africa Aerospace and Defence show. This will be their 7th aircraft of this type, complementing their twin-engined fleet of 16 BO 105s and two BK 117s. Eurocopter is proud to be serving this prestigious customer, and of its continued confidence in Eurocopter products.


The latest, 'high performance' version of the AS 350 B3 single engine helicopter has been very successful: almost 240 customers in 30 countries have already accepted their aircraft.

The reasons behind this success are essentially due to the fact that in comparison with its competitors, the AS 350 B3 offers operators greater power, more payload within a wider temperature/altitude envelope, increased sling load capacity (1400 kg at low altitude) and greater cruising speed at maximum weight (140 Kts for a VNE of 155 Kts).

The strong points of the AS 350 B3 are its powerful engine - a Turboméca Arriel 2B turboshaft engine with electronic control system - and its modernized instrument panel with a dual color screen - the V.E.M.D. (Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display) - displaying the main helicopter and engine parameters.


The Arriel 2B turboshaft engine generates a takeoff power of 847 shp (632 kW). The electronic control system offers it advantages such as the automatic starting sequence and the optimization of performances depending on the external conditions. The most up-to-date technology with single-crystal turbine blades and a single stage give the Arriel 2B exceptional reliability and simplified maintenance.

With symbology similar to traditional indicators, the V.E.M.D. shows the main engine and vehicle parameters, as well as a First Limitation Indication (F.L.I.). The synthetic display of the information on screen, rounded off with a first limitation audio warning, considerably eases the pilot's work load allowing him or her to concentrate on the mission. This also offers a major safety factor, above all when working with an external load.

The maximum takeoff weight for the AS 350 B3 is 2,250 kg, and 2,800 kg with an external load. In terms of external load, this increase of 250 kg in comparison with the AS 350 B2, allows a sling load of up to 1,400 kg to be carried, using a new cargo-swing.

Thanks to optional equipment such as windows with enhanced downwards visibility, a deiced external mirror with electric controls, curved windows, and left-seat piloting, the AS 350 B3 is the best light helicopter for sling work. A seven seat kit and two hoists with a respective capacity of 134 kg and 206 kg are also available.

The AS 350 B3 also has all the qualities of a business and passenger transport helicopter, with, in particular, increased speed, an important factor for corporate transport.

The AS 350 B3 widens and improves Eurocopter's existing single engine helicopter range, and is an aircraft with remarkable performances in hot and high conditions. The AS 350 B3 replaces the Lama with a modern and perfectly versatile aircraft whose maintenance costs and fuel consumption are greatly reduced while its speed is largely superior.

390 AS 350 B3s have already been delivered.. In all, 2,605 Ecureuil/Fennec single engine helicopters have been sold in more than 65 countries, to 1,200 customers.


Eurocopter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2003, EADS generated revenues of € 30.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 100,000. The EADS Group includes the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the world's largest helicopter supplier Eurocopter and the joint venture MBDA, the second-largest missile producer in the global market. EADS is the major partner in the Eurofighter consortium, is the prime contractor for the Ariane launcher, develops the A400M military transport aircraft and is the largest industrial partner for the European satellite navigation system Galileo.

For further information, please contact:

Jean-Louis ESPES

Christina GOTZHEIN

Tel.: + 33 (0)4 42 85 95 55

Tel.: + 49 (0) 89 6000 64 88

Fax: + 33 (0)4 42 85 95 64

Fax: + 49 (0) 89 6000 44 37


Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH

Aéroport International Marseille Provence

D-81663 Munich - Germany -

13725 Marignane Cedex – France –


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