Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin

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SA 365 Dauphin 2
AS365 Dauphin
ZJ780 (8490634574).jpg
An Army Air Corps Dauphin 2 landing at Glasgow Airport
Role transport/utility helicopter
National origin France
Manufacturer Aérospatiale
Airbus Helicopters
First flight 24 January 1975
Introduction December 1978
Status In service
Primary users Pawan Hans
Maryland State Police
Produced 1975-present
Number built 1,000+[1]
Unit cost
<US$10M, €7.5M
Developed from Aérospatiale SA 360
Variants Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin
Eurocopter AS565 Panther
Harbin Z-9
Developed into Eurocopter EC 155

The Airbus Helicopters AS365 Dauphin (Dolphin), formerly known as the Aérospatiale SA 365 Dauphin 2 and the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin, is a medium-weight multipurpose twin-engine helicopter currently produced by Airbus Helicopters. It was originally developed and manufactured by French firm Aérospatiale, which was merged into the multinational Eurocopter company during the 1990s. Since entering production in 1975, the type has been in continuous production for more than 40 years. The intended successor to the Dauphin is the Airbus Helicopters H160, which is yet to enter operational service as of March 2015.[2]

The Dauphin 2 shares many similarities with the Aérospatiale SA 360, a commercially unsuccessful single-engine helicopter; however the twin-engine Dauphin 2 did meet with customer demands and has been operated by a wide variety of civil and military operators. Since the type's introduction in the 1970s, several major variations and specialised versions of the Dauphin 2 have been developed and entered production, including the military-oriented Eurocopter Panther, the air-sea rescue HH/MH-65 Dolphin, the Chinese-manufactured Harbin Z-9 and the modernised Eurocopter EC155.


The SA 365/AS365 Dauphin 2 is a twin-engine development of the commercially unsuccessful single-engined Aérospatiale SA 360 Dauphin. It entered service with the original designation of SA 365, in January 1990 the type was formally redesignated as the AS365. The AS365 Dauphin is one of Eurocopter's more successful helicopter designs; and has been widely used as a corporate transport, airborne law enforcement platform, emergency medical services (EMS) helicopter, electronic news gathering platform, and search & rescue helicopter.[citation needed]

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-65 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 Z-19.[citation needed]

In December 2006, Eurocopter president Fabrice Brégier stated that between 30 to 40 Dauphins were being delivered each year.[3] By 2011, more than 1,000 AS365/366/565 versions had been produced; Indian operator Pawan Hans took delivery of the 1,000th Dauphin produced in April 2011, at which point the type was reportedly in service with over 300 operators worldwide.[1]


Eurocopter AS365 N2 cockpit

The AS365 Dauphin is a twin-engine helicopter capable of travelling long ranges, and well suited to operating in climates of a high ambient temperature or at locations of significant altitude. The main cabin area can accommodate a total of 11 passengers, or up to seven when using a more spacious VIP configuration. Access to the cabin is via large sliding doors on either side of the helicopter, built-in boarding steps are typically installed to ease the boarding of passengers.[4]

The AS 365 is equipped with the Starflex main rotor which, in combination with the aircraft's Fenestron tail rotor, is reportedly responsible for providing a low-vibration flight experience for those on board. While equipped with a two-man cockpit, the Dauphin can be readily controlled by a single pilot while being flown under instrument flight rules, this is in part due to the use of avionics to reduce pilot workload.[5]


French Navy AS365 F Dauphin rescue helicopter on the deck of the Charles De Gaulle carrier, June 2004

Civil variants[edit]

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 take-off 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 uprated 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 (8,490 lb) was later raised to 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Deliveries of the production model began in 1982. As of 2014, it holds the speed record for a 3 km course, set at 372 km/h in 1991.[6]
AS365 N1
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 undercarriage doors replaced by simplified fairings and a higher gross weight of 4,100 kg (9,000 lb).
AS365 N2
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.
AS365 N3
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 a single channel DECU (Digital Engine Control Unit) with manual reversion, mated to an uprated main transmission for better single engine performance. The AS365 N3 also features a redesigned ten blade composite Fenestron anti-torque device with asymmetric blade distribution, offering a further reduction in noise signature. The AS365 N3's gross weight is 4,300 kg (9,500 lb). Production deliveries began in December 1998 and this version is currently still in production.
AS365 N4
Produced as the EC155.
AS365 X
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 20 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; 231 mph) over a 3 km triangular course.
EC155 B/B1
Eurocopter EC155 B1 at Paris Air Show 2007
Main article: Eurocopter EC 155
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 two 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).

Military versions[edit]

AS565 Panther
MH/HH-65 Dolphin
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.


All Nippon Helicopter AS365 N2

The Dauphin is flown by a range of private operators, companies, emergency services, government agencies and air charter companies.

Government operators[edit]

 Republic of China
AS365 N2 Dauphin 2 of the Icelandic Coast Guard

Military operators[edit]

 Saudi Arabia
 United Kingdom
 United States

Former operators[edit]

A 365F Dauphin 2 of the Irish Air Corps, which were retired in 2006
 South Africa
 Sri Lanka
For other military operators of AS365 Panther and its variants, see Eurocopter AS565 Panther.

Accidents and notable incidents[edit]

On 4 April 2015, an AS365 owned by Orion Corridor Sdn Bhd, crashed in Semenyih near Kajang, Malaysia. All six people on board, including the ex-ambassador of Malaysia to the US and Rompin MP, Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis, and the Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Datuk Azlin Alias, were killed. The helicopter was coming from a wedding party of the Malaysian Prime Minister's daughter.[29][30]

On 4 August 2015, an AS365N3 owned by Pawan Hans, crashed within 5 minutes of takeoff killing 3 persons on board. The aircraft was on a routine sortie from Khonsa for Longding (Districts of Arunachal Pradesh, India).

Specifications (AS365 N3)[edit]

External video
Official Dauphin AS365 History video
Recording of Dauphin landing and taxiing
Cockpit view of engine startup and takeoff

Data from {}[31]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2 pilots
  • Capacity: 11 passengers
  • Length: 13.73 m (45 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 4.06 m (13 ft 4 in)
  • Empty weight: 2,411 kg (5,315 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,300 kg (9,480 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Turboméca Arriel 2C turboshaft, Take-off Power, 625 kW (838 hp) each
  • Main rotor diameter: 11.94 m (39 ft 2 in)
  • Main rotor area: 111.98 m2 (1,205.3 sq ft)


  • Maximum speed: 306 km/h (190 mph; 165 kn)
  • Ferry range: 827 km (514 mi; 447 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,865 m (19,242 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 8.9 m/s (1,750 ft/min)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists



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  2. ^ Perry, Dominic. "Airbus Helicopters targets AW139 with new H160" Flight International, 3 March 2015.
  3. ^ Apter, Jeff. "Heli-Union takes the 800th EC Dauphin ." AIN Online, 13 December 2006.
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  15. ^ "Servicio de vigilancia aduanera". 
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  18. ^ "Sécurité Civile". Copyright © 2005–2012 Helico-Fascination. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Lithuania Orders Eurocopter Dauphin Helos". 28 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "The Lithuanian Air Force orders three Eurocopter AS365 N3 Dauphin helicopters". 28 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Pictaero". © 2007–2012 AGAW. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  22. ^ Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 62.
  23. ^ "Aerospatiale-AS-365N-2-Dauphin". Demand Media, Inc. 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  24. ^ "HH/MH-65C: Dolphin". United States Coast Guard. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  25. ^ Beech, Eric (30 July 1988). "The Irish Identity". Flight International 134 (4124): pp. 19–23. 
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  27. ^ "World Air Forces 1996 pg. 53". Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  28. ^ "SLAF History". Sri Lanka Air Force Command Media Unit. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
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External links[edit]