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Airbus Helicopters ditches AS355 light twin

Airbus Helicopters has dropped the AS355 Ecureuil II light twin from its range, as part of a drive to rationalise its portfolio and focus on key products.

Production of the 2.6t helicopter – which is also known as the Twin Squirrel or Twin Star in the USA – is, however, likely to continue through next year, as the airframer runs through its remaining order backlog.

The manufacturer says the decision was driven by a need to trim its product range and focus on stronger-selling models to better answer the needs of the market and its customers.

Production of the two other rotorcraft in the Squirrel family – the H125 and H130 – will continue, however.

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Airbus Helicopters

“Airbus Helicopters remains committed to continuous improvement of the H125 and H130 for higher competitiveness and increased customer satisfaction,” it says, while adding that it “will continue to support the more than 600 AS355s currently in service worldwide.”

Although in production since 1979, the AS355 has since 2007 been offered as the NP variant, which is fitted with FADEC-equipped Turbomeca Arrius 1A1 engines and boasts a fast cruise speed of 120kt (222km/h) with a maximum range of 395nm (731km).

Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer database records a backlog for the type of just seven aircraft.

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