View Full Version : AS 350 B3e - anyone flown one yet?


TheVelvetGlove
27th Dec 2011, 01:02
I think they have delivered a few of them by now....?



McGowan
27th Dec 2011, 01:23
I'll bite, what is an AS350B3E?????

topendtorque
27th Dec 2011, 02:16
Read more about the new features of the latest AS 350 B3e http://www.helibizgoldcoast.com.au/resources/AS350b3E.pdf

go - that turnout.

McGowan
28th Dec 2011, 23:13
So looking at the presentation, not much different to the B3, only one less passenger......................

And I wonder how much bigger the price tag......

Tallguy
29th Dec 2011, 08:16
It can seat exactly the same number as a B3, the interior has been redesigned not reduced, and comparably it has the same price tag

Warm Ballast
29th Dec 2011, 10:42
... and if you order one now you'll be waiting at least two years ... so the story goes ...

Ian Corrigible
29th Dec 2011, 18:08
As Tallguy says, standard seating capacity is unchanged (though the seats themselves have been reupholstered); the five-place interior depicted in TET's pack is the Stylence corporate configuration.

Pricing is unchanged, with the B3e simply superseding the B3 on the production line.

Aside from the interior improvements, TR/hyd mods and the extended MX program, the main benefit is hidden away on page 3 of the B3e's Tech Data:

http://i.imgur.com/1umQKGG.jpg

While Eurocopter has - at this stage - retained the B3's existing installed power ratings, this 100-130 shp power margin associated with the 6,000 hr TBO Arriel 2D is noticeable at hot/high conditions, as evidenced by the B3e's updated Fast Cruise perf charts.

I/C

victor papa
30th Dec 2011, 13:17
The biggest improovement is not in the engine TBO and power margin(although excellent) but in the removal of the Tail Rotor yaw compensator which is replaced with additional boss weights on the TR Blades to assist the pilot with RH pedal incase of hydraulic failure. This eliminates the risk of playing with the wrong switch during flight causing the tail rotor to go hard when all the hydraulic fluid drains from the yaw load compensator nullifying it's ability to assist. Purchase price the same but running cost lower due the engine TBO. Also the engine will do its own maintenance checks now via a 3rd computer to further lower maint requirements.

TheVelvetGlove
30th Dec 2011, 17:48
The wait: True, deliveries of the first aircraft ordered have already been delayed 8 + months.

RVDT
30th Dec 2011, 18:09
So I guess the answer is "NO"?

HeliHenri
30th Dec 2011, 19:05
Hello,
The answer is YES : Air Grischa Helikopter adds AS350B3e | Helihub - the Helicopter Industry Data Source (http://www.helihub.com/2011/10/23/air-grischa-helikopter-adds-as350b3e/)

An EC Add with the test pilot (and the real French accent ;)) : Eurocopter AS-350 B3 e - Helico-Fascination (http://www.helico-fascination.com/videos/1576-eurocopter-as-350-b3-e.html)


Edit : First delivery in June 2011 to Mafate Helicopteres (Reunion island)

Ian Corrigible
30th Dec 2011, 20:54
A few more:

Air Zermatt adds new AS350B3e to fleet (http://www.helihub.com/2011/12/14/air-zermatt-adds-new-as350b3e-to-fleet)

American Eurocopter Delivers First AS350 B3e (http://www.eurocopterusa.com/customer_support/CustomerSupportNewsletters/2011/CSNL_11_V1_I10.PDF#page=4")

Eurocopter Chile Delivers the First Ecureuil AS350 B3e for the Americas to Servicios Aéreos Kipreos (http://www.eurocopter.com/site/en/press/Eurocopter-Chile-Delivers-the-First-Ecureuil-AS350-B3e-for-the-Americas-to-Servicios-Aereos-Kipreos_829.html)

Heli-Gotthard adds new AS350B3e to fleet (http://www.helihub.com/2011/11/30/heli-gotthard-adds-new-as350b3e-to-fleet)

UTair takes delivery of first aircraft from AS350/AS355 order (http://www.helihub.com/2011/10/25/utair-takes-delivery-of-first-aircraft-from-as350as355-order)

Plus another one - equipped with G500H and GTN750 - already up on Controller (http://www.controller.com/listingsdetail/aircraft-for-sale/EUROCOPTER-AS-350B3E/EUROCOPTER-AS-350B3E/1224044.htm?).

I/C

bellsux
1st Jan 2012, 11:02
I would like Eurocopter to beef up the B3 transmission a bit to increase the torque. I personally haven't overtorqued one but it does come up pretty quickly at the upper range.

African Eagle
13th Jan 2012, 20:29
The Kenya Police Air-Wing is expanding its airborne law enforcement and crime prevention unit with the delivery of a Eurocopter AS350 B3e Ecureuil helicopter.

http://str8talkchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/AS350B3eNW.jpg

Kenya’s selection of the AS350 B3e, which is the enhanced version of Eurocopter’s successful AS350 model, follows an open and competitive tender won earlier this year by Eurocopter Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, the Group subsidiary in charge of Southern Africa markets.

The new helicopter, which was handed over to the Kenya Police, in Nairobi will be dedicated to police law enforcement and crime prevention missions including anti-poaching, anti-terrorism operations. It will also be deployed in search & rescue, casualty evacuation, personnel transport and various other civic protection roles.

The Kenya Police Air-Wing is the first African customer for the AS350 B3e, which boasts several enhancements over previous AS350 variants, including an uprated Turbomeca Arriel 2D turbine engine allowing better take-off performances while decreasing maintenance costs.

Kenya Police Air Wing, first African customer to operate Eurocopter (http://str8talkchronicle.com/?p=19857)

Azhigher
23rd Jan 2012, 06:39
There will be a few in Vegas/Grand Canyon in the coming months.

anti-talk
23rd Jan 2012, 14:44
I flew one in Fort Lauderdale 2 weeks ago - impresssed me
The aircraft had plenty of power and a well 'sorted' avionics suite including synthetic vision.

Bitmonx
20th Feb 2012, 14:23
Does anybody know if CHL will be buying more new A/C in the near future?

Largest Helicopter Operator in Canada Uses New AS350 B3e to Promote Corporate Rebranding | Eurocopter Canada Limited (http://www.eurocopter.ca/largest-helicopter-operator-in-canada-uses-new-as350-b3e-to-promote-corporate-rebranding/)

bitmonx

Savoia
25th Feb 2012, 14:34
Nepali-based Simrik Air are about to take delivery of the country's first AS350B3e below:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-vCUKN_WH1EU/T0j5TMLIvLI/AAAAAAAAIGo/4eCJA-G4b34/s800/B3e%2520Singapore%2520Airshow%2520Feb%252012%2520%2528Trevor%2520Bartlett%2529.jpg
Simrik Air's new AS350B3e at the Singapore Airshow last week. This is the first of two 3e's ordered by the operator (Photo: Trevor Bartlett)

helihub
25th Feb 2012, 16:13
Heli Bernina in Switzerland added a B3e this week too.

manuel ortiz
6th Oct 2012, 03:17
Hello,

Anyone here knows about an AD Note or Service Bulletin regarding vibration at the tail rotor?
Note that the Q. pertains only to the E model which just recently came into the market.
Heard it was issued this september due to a severe vibration case in Brazil but unable to find it so far.

Any leads will be appreciated.

Wbrgs.

Manuel

gnz
6th Oct 2012, 03:42
EASA Airworthiness Directives Publishing Tool (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2012-0207-E)

Choppie
6th Oct 2012, 08:01
I've heard that two B3e's had serious problem due to this issue. One in North America and one in China. Maybe someone else knows more about this?

This is why they had to reduce Vne to 100kts at sea level. Also avoid side slipping and inspect TR every 3 hours.

I hope they sort this out fast.

MiKeRoToR
6th Oct 2012, 11:55
Lots of problems with the Tail rotor laminated half-bearings...

Eurocopter are publishing several alerts service bulletins, the last one limited the airspeed at 100 kts :eek:

I have the last one, if u are interested pm me.

Nubian
6th Oct 2012, 19:53
Well, the tailrotor on the 350 have pretty much been the same on all other models up to the last one, which have the ''chinese weights'' added for the removal of the t/r load compensator.
When they suddenly get these problems with the laminated half bearings, it would be interessting if it is the same part-number as on all other tail rotors. If it is, I recon the problem is generated by the change in design ie. the ''chinese weights'', or we should see the same problems occuring with the rest of the B3 fleet as well. Unless they can identify a production-irregularity on over a certain batch-number.

Encyclo
6th Oct 2012, 19:55
I think this is the one quoted in the Eurocopter Emergency Bulletin which lost his tail rotor + TRGB + vertical fin.

ASN Aircraft accident 28-SEP-2012 Arospatiale AS 350B3 Ecureuil TG-FHD (http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=149332)

Accidente del TG-FHD | Aviación de a Pie (http://aviaciondeapie.org/2012/09/28/accidente-del-tg-fhd/)

Tragic loss of life :(

manuel ortiz
6th Oct 2012, 23:12
Tks for the good feedback with the AD note and comments.

Guess the procedure for tail vibration is quite obvious but in any case and till I find the preceding Bulleting which contains that section, coud anyone post that part of it pls?

Brgds

Manuel

alouette
7th Oct 2012, 06:38
I don't like these tailrotor problems. Operators are up in arms to replace the tailrotor, and Eurocopter - as of now - has no answer to this serious issue.

MiKeRoToR
7th Oct 2012, 08:18
Hi manuel I sent u a pm...

Not a good stuff...

Here it is to recent accidents involving AS350B3e, but don´t know the causes...
but in the first (fatal crash) one the pilot reports to the control tower, abnormla vibrations in the tail rotor... Moments before he crashes it possible to hear, I loss the tail rotor...

Empresario Joe Habie muere al caer helicóptero en la zona 15 (http://www.prensalibre.com.gt/noticias/justicia/Cae-helicoptero-zona_0_782321910.html)

Accidente del TG-FHD | Aviación de a Pie (http://aviaciondeapie.org/2012/09/28/accidente-del-tg-fhd/)

AnFI
8th Oct 2012, 21:16
Time to remind pilots not to close throttle on t/r failure

Anthony Supplebottom
24th Nov 2012, 18:57
Does anyone have any updated info on the B3e story regarding failing tail rotors?

I-IIII
24th Nov 2012, 21:19
I did already more 100 hr on B3e and can say a good surprise to me as power and speed,found same problems on T/R bearings and some engine problems but can say that is a monster.I became from firstB3 in 99 passing after on plus and now on e.Is more rude in flight respect to others but never been in throuble yet also at 13000 14000 ft the engine responde very well so at normal altitudes u are using same average fuel of other B3 180 lt/hr at speed 130 140 Kn.

victor papa
25th Nov 2012, 07:50
Latest correspondence I have seen is that we will be returning to the load compensator and remove the fly weights apparently. Currently awaiting final certification and I believe ECF will start retrofitting in Jan or Feb. I hope we get to keep the new pitch change links though. Best you find out from your local EC rep or subsidiary or supplier as to where you are in their planning? I can not wait to get rid of the 100kts VNE TAS restriction as it is tyring flying the airspeed gauge as she does not want to fly there and if you lift your head for a moment and look back she is doing 120.

Anthony Supplebottom
25th Nov 2012, 08:11
This is such an irritating development. So the newfangled "chinese weights" could not be accommodated by the tail rotor and caused stresses and tensions (and at least one fatality) which EC were unable to research before launching the B3e.

On top of that the lost benefit of assisted tail rotor control in the event of hydraulic failure is gone and EC are now back to the old compensator?

Why the heck weren't these weights properly tested before the B3e was launched?????????????? :ugh:

victor papa
25th Nov 2012, 08:51
My understanding is that the factory machine has got over 600hrs on her incl all possible scenarios with no sign of damage on her Paulstras so I do not know.............

i thought the flyweights was a brilliant replacement for the load compensator but clearly not!

MIA777
28th Nov 2012, 18:20
Does anyone have the latest on the B3e tail rotor problem. last I heard there was an AD and some restrctions in place until Eurocopter issued a fix tks

victor papa
28th Nov 2012, 18:58
AD and ASB's for checking Tail Rotor laminated bearings every 3 hrs and if suspect remove Tail Rotor to check 4 paulstra laminated bearings. Limits on cracks and rubber portrusions. VNE limited to 100kts TAS and must be in red letters on white in cockpit. Saying target is to start retrofitting Feb if certified with load compensator and remove flyweights/chinese weights as per b3.

MIA777
28th Nov 2012, 21:02
okay so don t buy a B3e for a while then until its all sorted...bugger me I thought EADS would be all over this as it makes the machine a waste of time with a 100 knot VNE....I will tell my boss to stick with Bell I think he asked me to do some research and this is the first thing I found...anyone out there actually flying a b3e and how the AD is affecting operations??

Nubian
29th Nov 2012, 11:45
MIA777,

As for advicing your boss to stick to Bell is a good thing for everyone, as the waitingtime for new Eurocopters are just too long in any case for now...

How long time did Bell use to fix their tail-rotor issue on the 407??? That was also restricted to a Vne of 100 kts for a long time. Quite an embarracement to be overtaken by a R-44, or even a trusty old Jetbanger!:ouch:

The only thing EC have to do, is to go back to the old design and problems should be resolved. Voile!

How is the old saying: "don't fix something that is not broken....!"

RVDT
29th Nov 2012, 12:06
I think the impetus behind the design was to remove the T/R compensator as there had been so many C0*kups with it in the B3 that has it.

HYD Failure and pressing the HYD TEST which dumps the accumulator compensator which brings on a new world of hurt for instance.

Operators seem to mistake the HYD TEST for HYD OFF. Once pressed you cannot get it back.

The pedal pressure at low speed will lift you out of the seat and you will lose control of the aircraft.

Read here. (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/267609-as350-hydraulic-system-failures-too-many.html)

Anthony Supplebottom
29th Nov 2012, 12:43
Interesting to read in RVDT's link that many female pilots cannot be qualified on the B3 without becoming fitter!

victor papa
30th Nov 2012, 13:12
MIA777, buy the new EC130T2 which out performs the B3 and no TR laminated bearings:}

Vertical Freedom
1st Dec 2012, 12:42
Namaste victor papa

Hmmm I guess You have not operated to much above 10,000' let alone 20,000' the fenestron is very heavy, very power hungry, plus runs out of authority very easy well below 19,000' nah no thanks give me a conventional tail-rotor for power & authority any day. But yes the 130 is very sexy just shame about the tail end of her hmmmm maybe we need a B5 :cool:

Happy Landings :ok:

VF

victor papa
1st Dec 2012, 13:18
Vertical Freedom, not arguing but have you read the specs on the new 130T2? The B3e is a great machine and will be once the tail issues are sorted, but I do think we are very close if not on the limit of the 350 design limitations and hence the no increases in MAUW despite the power increase. I do know the B3e,s biggest improvement is apparently in DOM costs due the longer TBO on the engine-or so I was told

Vertical Freedom
2nd Dec 2012, 03:09
Hey Victor Papa

Yep read the performance specs & as I said at serious altitudes the B4T2 still is poor in comparison to the B3+ conventional tail-rotor not to mention all the extra weight added to make up that butt ugly fenestron :{

Happy Landings Always :D

VF

Nubian
2nd Dec 2012, 08:01
Victor Papa,

Now, is the design changed much on the T2, compared to the B4? If so, what are they?
As the B4 is just a "frankenschteined" 350 with a higher AUW due to a higher dry weight, dual hyd and the Fenestron. (same type certficate)
Does the T2 have a brand new MGB, new blades and basic structure? If not, then it just got a bit more power on the back (surely not the only mods, but)

What is the TBO on the MGB of the B4 and the T2? Normal TBO on the B3 is 2500hrs, but with the dual hyd, it is only 1500, which kind of increase the DOC alot.

I am abit puzzled, when reading the stats on EC's homepage.
The 130 has 2500kgs Mtow, internally and 3050kgs with ext load, which is limited to 1500kgs.
The 350 has 2250 without dual hyd internally (2370 with, 130 kgs less than the T2!) and 2800 ext load, max 1400kgs.

I really would like to know, how the numbers of the T2 can be like that, if the T2 and the B3e has the same basic structure, engine and drivetrain:confused:


kateean2
but in the removal of the Tail Rotor yaw compensator which is replaced with additional boss weights on the TR Blades to assist the pilot with RH pedal incase of hydraulic failure.

I think you will find that "improvement" to be not an improvement after all...

victor papa
2nd Dec 2012, 11:29
Regarding the chinese weights being the best improovement(I thought it would be too), I sincerely hope you are up to date with your ASB's and adhearing to the 100kt TAS VNE and 3 hr inspections.

Regarding the T2 I have read the brochures and spoke to people who flew her. Apparently 70perc of the frame is new and yes she has the 355 950 shp MGB where the B3's have the 750 on I believe so a longer torque caution range apparently.

Brian Abraham
20th Feb 2013, 13:37
EASA Approves AS350B3e Tail Rotor Fix (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_02_14_2013_p0-548918.xml)

Eurocopter is planning to retrofit the worldwide AS350B3e fleet with a modification to solve a tail rotor issue by August.

The manufacturer, owned by EADS, says the retrofit, which involves the removal of chin weights fitted to the tail rotor assembly and the installation of a load compensator, will fix issues suffered by operators of the B3e variant of the Ecureuil single-engined light helicopter that was launched by the manufacturer at the 2011 Heli-Expo event.

According to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), several operators of new AS350B3e helos reported that pilots made precautionary landings after feeling vibrations emanating from the helicopter’s tail rotor. Subsequent inspections of three aircraft found that laminated half-bearings in the tail rotor had failed prematurely.

EASA says the issue may have contributed to one fatal accident involving a Kenyan Police AS350B3e in which the pilot felt strong vibrations from the tail rotor before losing control of the aircraft. Investigators found that before the accident, the laminated half-bearings were twice replaced on the helicopter due to their deterioration.

As a result, EASA urged operators to increase checks on the components of the tail rotor and imposed airspeed limitations to reduce the dynamic loads on the tail rotor, because of concerns that the problem could lead to a loss of control.

On Feb. 8, EASA cleared the modification, which it says “restores the tail rotor dynamic load level ... thereby eliminating the modified loading conditions of laminated half-bearings which caused the intensified deterioration and reported failures.”

Eurocopter adds, “After implementation of this modification, the current VNE reduction will be removed and therefore, initial B3e flight performances will be fully restored.”

Eurocopter plans to retrofit all B3e variant helicopters by August 2013 and says it is “in line with the schedule defined.”

peely
21st Feb 2013, 06:08
Have flown 2 different ones with VNE limited prior to rework of the tail rotor and re-fitting of the load compensator. Test flew one the other day post the tail rotor mod fix. All were good with plenty of get up and go but found the FLI read out more sensitive near the 100% mark in comparison the the software setup on The standard B3 and EC130 2b1 engine.

Ready2Fly
25th Jun 2013, 07:52
It seems this one was delivered without the fix then...?
Multiple sources tell us that this AS350B3e crashed and written off at 7.39pm after reported tail rotor issues. This helicopter was delivered new to the owner less than two months ago.

Source: 19-Jun-13 G-ECUK Eurocopter AS350B3e Begbroke, UK (http://helihub.com/2013/06/19/19-jun-13-g-ecuk-eurocopter-as350b3e-begbroke-uk/)

1helicopterppl
25th Jun 2013, 11:04
Supplebottom,
see Ready2Fly's previous post.....15hrs & it bites the dust, TR problem reported, first B3e in UK, currently residing not too far from us in a 'Neutral' location being inspected by Eurocopter engineers. not good, fortunately two people on board survived with minor injuries.

Anthony Supplebottom
25th Jun 2013, 15:06
This is really such a joke!

What are EC trying to do - drive the Squirrel's reputation into the ground? :ugh:

cattletruck
26th Jun 2013, 01:50
Their best engineers must be working on other products, which is a shame because the 350 is more fun to fly than their fenestron equivalents. This really is a big c@<hidden> by EC. I've been wanting to take a b3e for a spin for a while now but been putting it off with its 100kt limit. Have to wait a bit longer :{

Ian Corrigible
26th Jun 2013, 13:29
If Helihub (http://helihub.com/2013/06/26/as350b3e-not-grounded-after-uk-accident-says-eurocopter) is correct, and it's a tail rotor yaw compensator accumulator issue, then it would appear to be unrelated to the B3e's laminated half bearing problem. (If delivered within the past couple of months, the aircraft in question would presumably have been retrofitted with the old-style tail rotor anyway -- the retrofit campaign has been on-going since the beginning of the year.)

I've been wanting to take a b3e for a spin for a while now but been putting it off with its 100kt limit
MOD 07 5606 (the retrofit with the old style TR, sans larger Chinese weights) eliminates the 100 kt limitation.

What are EC trying to do - drive the Squirrel's reputation into the ground?
Quite.

I/C

Anthony Supplebottom
12th Aug 2013, 13:44
Anyone able to confirm whether the B3e's ongoing tail rotor saga is at an end yet?