Eurocopter AS350 Airbus Helicopter "Squirrel": Designed for Versatility and Safety

The Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil, nicknamed the Squirrel, is a single-engine light utility helicopter that has garnered attention for its versatility, performance and safety record. With a service ceiling of 20,000 feet and a range of almost 500 miles, its impressive specifications enable diverse operations. In this 100-word review, we will explore the Squirrel's features, examining what makes this adaptable aircraft well-suited for roles from passenger transport to aerial photography. Analysing its powerplant, composite materials and signature Fenestron tail rotor design reveals how the AS350 achieves stability and efficiency in the air. For pilots and enthusiasts alike, understanding the Squirrel's capabilities provides insight into how a lightweight helicopter can deliver reliability across contexts from tourism to business services.

Single-engine helicopter renowned for its high performance, safety, and reliability. First entering service in 1974, this light utility helicopter features a Fenestron shrouded tail rotor for enhanced safety and a Turbomeca Arriel turboshaft engine providing up to 895 horsepower. With its compact size and lightweight airframe, the AS350 offers exceptional maneuverability, agility, and control. The Fenestron tail rotor prevents the risks of tail rotor strikes, and the helicopter’s responsive controls provide precision handling. The AS350 can reach a maximum cruise speed of 133 knots and ascend at over 1,500 feet per minute, all while carrying up to 1,450 kilograms of payload.

We offer panoramic tours with overflight of the volcano's summit craters and the beautiful Taormina.
Takeoff from our private helipad 12 km from Taormina

Aerial Observation

The AS350 is commonly used for aerial observation. Its large windows and cabin provide excellent visibility and the ability to easily mount observation equipment. The helicopter’s small size and ability to fly at slower speeds make it ideal for low-altitude observation. The AS350 is a popular platform for aerial photography and filming due to its exceptional stability and large windows that provide an unobstructed view. Photographers are able to capture stunning and unique aerial perspectives. Film crews utilise the AS350 for action sequences, chase scenes and establishing shots in movies and television. The helicopter can be equipped with mounts and harnesses to facilitate the use of cameras and filming equipment.

Tourism and Private Charters

With its panoramic views and ability to land in areas inaccessible by other means of transport, the AS350 is commonly used for tourism, sightseeing and charter flights. Its cabin can seat up to five passengers, in addition to the pilot. The helicopter provides a unique way for tourists and visitors to experience scenic locations and natural wonders from the air. Charter operators like HeliSicily frequently use the AS350 to transport guests to and from remote destinations.