The Eurocopter SA 365/AS365 Dauphin (Dolphin) is a medium-weight multipurpose twin-engine helicopter manufactured by Eurocopter (originally by Aérospatiale).
Design and development
Developed from the single-engined Aérospatiale SA 360 Dauphin variant, the SA 365/AS365 Dauphin is one of Eurocopter's most successful designs and is widely used as a corporate transport, airborne law enforcement platform, emergency medical services (EMS) helicopter, electronic news gathering platform, and search & rescue helicopter. One of the distinctive features of the Dauphin is its fenestron tail rotor.
The military version of the Dauphin is the Eurocopter Panther. The Dauphin is also used by the United States Coast Guard under the designation HH/MH-65C Dolphin.
The Dauphin is also manufactured in China under licence as the Z-9 by the Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation, and subsequently developed as the armed versions WZ-9 and WZ-9A-100.
More than 800 AS365/366/565 versions have been produced or ordered, with the 500th Dauphin (counting all models) having been delivered in 1991. More than 90 EC155s have been delivered.
Regarding the naming of the different variants, it should be noted that, until January 1990, the AS365 models were designated as SA 365.
SA 365 C
This twin-engined version of the Dauphin, designated as the Dauphin 2, was announced in early 1973. The first flight of the first prototype took place on 24 January 1975, with production model deliveries starting in December 1978. In comparison with the earlier model, the SA 365 C featured twin 470 kW (630 shp) Arriel 1 turboshafts in a new engine fairing, a Starflex main rotor hub and a higher maximum takeoff weight (3,400 kg or 7,495 lb). The aircraft's Fenestron anti-torque device featured 13 metal blades. Production of both the SA 360 and SA 365 C ceased in 1981, by which time approximately 40 SA 360s and 50 SA 365 C/C1s had been built. Both types were replaced by the SA 365 N.
SA 365 C1
Minor upgrade of the SA 365 C powered by Arriel 1A1.
AS365 N (originally SA 365 N)
This is a much improved version of the SA 365 C Dauphin 2, the first prototype flying on 31 March 1979. This version introduced the more powerful 492 kW (660 shp) Arriel 1C turboshafts, a retractable tricycle undercarriage, enlarged tail surfaces, and revised transmission, main rotor, rotor mast fairing and engine cowlings. The aircraft's initial M.T.O.W. of 3,850 kg (8,488 lb) was later raised to 4,000 kg (8,819 lb). Deliveries of the production model began in 1982.
Incorporating many of the improvements developed for the SA 366 G1 (HH-65 Dolphin), this version introduced upgraded 526 kW (705 shp) Arriel 1C1 turboshafts, an improved 11-blade Fenestron with wider-cord blades (which reduced the AS365 N1's noise signature), movable undercarridge doors replaced by simplified fairings and a higher gross weight of 4,100 kg (9,039 lb).
This version - designated AS365 N2 from the outset - introduced the upgraded 549 kW (737 shp) Arriel 1C2 turboshafts, an uprated gearbox, increased maximum take-off weight of 4,250 kg (9,370 lb), redesigned cabin doors and revised interior, enlarged tail fin with all-composite Fenestron. Deliveries of this version started in 1990. Licensed versions, called the Z-9 and Z-9A, were assembled in China.
The high-performance AS365 N3 was developed for operations in 'hot and high' climates, and introduced 635 kW (851 shp) Arriel 2C turboshafts equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC), mated to an uprated main transmission for better single engine performance. The AS365 N3 also features a new-generation 10-blade composite Fenestron anti-torque device with asymimmetic blade distribution, offering a further reduction in noise signature. The AS365 N3's gross weight is 4,300 kg (9,480 lb). Production deliveries began in December 1998 and this version is currently still in production.
Produced as the EC155.
Better known as the DGV 200 or Dauphin Grand Vitesse (High Speed Dauphin), the AS365 X was developed from the X-380 DTP (Developpement Technique Probatoire or Probatory Technical Development) testbed, first flown on 20th March 1989. The aircraft was first flown in the AS365 X configuration two years later in March 1991, and featured a smaller Fenestron, a new main rotor with five high-inertia blades with swept tips, a composite rotor hub/mast and 624 kW (837 shp) Turbomeca Arriel IX turboshafts. On 19 November 1991, this aircraft set a Class E1e (3,000 to 4,500 kg) speed record of 201 knots (372 km/h or 231 mph) over a 3 km triangular course.
This version was originally to follow the N3 as the AS365 N4, and was announced at the 1997 Paris Airshow before being redesignated as the EC155 B. As with the N3 version, it has twin Arriel 2C/2C2 turboshafts equipped with FADEC as well as a five-blade Spheriflex main rotor (derived from the AS365 X DGV). It also features a 30% larger main cabin (achieved with bulged doors and cabin plugs). The first flight of the first prototype took place on 17 June 1997 and this version is currently in production (as the EC155 B1).
The SA 366 G1 Dauphin version was selected by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in 1979 as its new air-sea rescue helicopter and given the designation HH-65A Dolphin. In total 99 helicopters, optimised for the USCG's short-range recovery (SRR) search and rescue role, were initially acquired, with additional aircraft later procured.
SA 365 F/F1
Naval version of the AS365 N.
SA 365 H
Military version of the SA 365 C.
SA 365 K
Military version of the AS365 N2.
SA 365 M
Military version of the AS365 N2.
Military AS365 Ns are designated as AS 565 Panthers and are available in the following versions:
Naval search & rescue versions.
ASW (Anti Submarine Warfare) versions.
Argentina - Coast Guard
Chile - Coast Guard and Navy SAR (3 second-hand machines, total requirement of 8)
People's Republic of China - as variant Harbin Z-9 and WZ-9 by the PLAAF, PLANF and PLAGF
Democratic Republic of the Congo
France - French Navy
Greece - Coast Guard
Hong Kong - Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force: 5 Eurocopter EC 155
Israel - Israeli Navy
Mexico - Mexican Navy (There's good possibility that SEMAR will purchase 6 more.)
South Africa - South African Air Force
Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka Air Force
United Kingdom - Flag Officer Sea Training, 8 Flight Army Air Corps - Replacing the older Agusta 109s
United States - US Coast Guard
Governmental / Law Enforcement operators
Australia - Victoria Police Air Wing operates a number of Dauphin AS365 N3s and SA 365 Cs as a patrol helicopter as well as for search and rescue missions.
Brazil - Government of State of Rio de Janeiro - one AS365 N1 in CAOA (Coordenadoria Adjunta de Operações Aéreas - Assistant Air Operations)
Germany - Bundespolizei
Hong Kong - Government Flying Service - active fleet; 5 Eurocopter EC 155 inherited from the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force with 1 lost in a crashed
Iceland - Icelandic Coast Guard, although currently only operating a rental Dauphin.
Indonesia - Indonesia Police
Malaysia - Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Coast Guard utility and SAR)
Romania - Romanian Intelligence Service, Romanian Government
Spain - Vigilancia Aduanera (Spanish Customs)
Switzerland - Operated by Swiss Air Force for governmental and VIP transport
Thailand - Royal Thai Police
Taiwan - Taiwan Coast Guard
United States - Maryland State Police operates 12 SA/AS365s, primarily as a search and rescue helicopter and emergency medical services platform, though other law enforcement and homeland security duties can be assigned to them.
Australia - Child Flight used as emergency transport for sick children in rural New South Wales which need medical treatment in Sydney.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service use it for search and rescue, medical transports and for delivering doctors and paramedics to accident scenes.
Belgium - North Sea Helicopters Vlaanderen (NHV) based at Ostend International Airport. Primary role is shipping control, organ transport and various essential transport work.
Canada - CHC Scotia operates 7 AS365s for offshore support and search & rescue.
Chile - One example with Aerofan S.A.
France - Heli-Union, the biggest civilian operator of the Dauphin, has 21 AS 365 C2, C3, N2 and N3 all around the world for offshore operations
India - Pawan Hans operate approximately 28 SA/AS365s
Italy - Fireman Helicopters Group, Autonomous Province of Trento utilizes two AS365 N3 for health emergency, mountain rescue, fire service and various civil defence activities.
Indonesia - Indonesia Air Transport, an aircraft charter company in Indonesia operates SA 365 C2, AS365 N and AS365 N2 helicopters mainly in Kalimantan for offshore operations.
Japan - All Nippon Helicopter, a subsidiary of All Nippon Airways, operates 6 AS365 N2s for news gathering of NHK.
Niger - Aero Contractors of Nigeria operate 10 AS365s for passenger transportation.
United Arab Emirates - 2 AS365 N3 helicopters ordered by Falcon Aviation Services in 2007.
United Kingdom - Michael Owen
United States - Miami Valley Hospital CareFlight, Dayton, OH utilizes three AS365 N2s as air ambulances. Parkview Hospital Fort Wayne, IN, maintains a fleet of two AS365 N2s for emergency air ambulance service operated as the Parkview Samaritan Flight Program. Penn State Hershey Life Lion operates three SA/AS365s for emergency air ambulance services. West Michigan Air Care maintains a fleet of two AS365 N2s for emergency air ambulance services.
Specifications (AS365 N3)
- Crew: 1 or 2 pilots
- Capacity: 12 passengers
- Length: 13.73 m (45.06 ft)
- Rotor diameter: 11.94 m (39.17 ft)
- Height: 4.06 m (13.32 ft)
- Empty weight: 2,411 kg (5,315 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 4,300 kg (9,480 lb)
- Powerplant: 2× Turbomeca Arriel 2C turboshafts, 625 kW (838 shp) each
- Maximum speed: 306 km/h (165 knot, 190 mph)
- Ferry range: 446 NM, 827 km (514 mi)
- Service ceiling 5,865 m (19,242 ft)
- Rate of climb: 8.9 m/s (1,759 ft/min)