On May 14th,
2005 at 7h08 (local time), a serial Ecureuil/AStar AS 350 B3 piloted by the
EUROCOPTER X-test pilot Didier Delsalle, landed at 8,850 meters (29,035ft) on
the top of the Mount Everest.
tremendous achievement breaks the World Record for the highest altitude
landing and take-off ever, which sets an ultimate milestone in the History of
Aviation. Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO of the
EUROCOPTER Group, world leading helicopter manufacturer, immediately
congratulated the pilot and his team for this extraordinary feat.
off from its base camp Lukla on May 14th, 2005 at 2,866 meters (9,403ft)
Didier Delsalle onboard his Ecureuil AS350B3 reached the top of Mount Everest.
As required by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI - International
Aeronautical Federation), the aircraft remained landed on ground more than 2
minutes on the top of the world before flying back to Lukla.
This feat was
renewed the day after.
out of his helicopter, Didier Delsalle commented: "To reach this mythical
summit definitively seemed to be a dream; despite the obvious difficulties of
the target to be reached, the aircraft demonstrated its capability to cope
with the situation (…), sublimated by the magic of the place”.
a serial helicopter, this absolute World Record once more contributes to
underline the unique qualities of the Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3 as a
multipurpose, reliable, quick and comfortable helicopter which emerges as the
most performing aircraft in the world in the most extreme conditions.
trial period, Didier Delsalle and his Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3 flew some rescue
missions on behalf of the Nepalese authorities demonstrating the operational
capabilities of the aircraft used to set the altitude landing and take-off
This feat has
been achieved further to various flight tests begun one year ago with the
Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3 among which:
Experimental flight up to 8,992 meters (29,500 ft) in April 2004 in Istres
“Time to climb” records to the heights of 3,000, 6,000 and 9,000 meters
performed on April 14th, 2005 in respectively 2 minutes 21 seconds, 5 minutes
6 seconds and 9 minutes 26 seconds. These records smash the previous ones held
by an Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B1 with respectively 2 minutes 59 seconds, 6
minutes 55 seconds and 13 minutes 52 seconds,
Experimental flight up to 10.211 meters (33.500 ft) on April 14, 2005,
Landing at the South Pass of Mount Everest at 7,925 meters (26,000 ft) on May
12th, 2005, establishing a new altitude landing and take-off record,
previously held by a Cheetah helicopter - variant of the Lama - at 7,670
meters (25,150 ft).
landing on the top of the world, EUROCOPTER demonstrates that its
technological innovations provide its products a length - height - ahead, set
at the disposal of its worldwide customers.
3,670 Ecureuil/AStar have been sold worldwide and logged 15 million flight
hours. Since its introduction on the market, the Ecureuil/AStar/Twinstar
family has been benefiting of successive improvements among which its most
powerful version is the Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3. This aircraft is serial
equipped with modern systems such as dual channel FADEC, Vehicule and Engine
Monitoring Display, integrated GPS, etc…. 424 Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3 are
currently in operation worldwide, mainly used for missions requiring high
performances, such as aerial work (cargo sling capacity: 1,400kg) in very high
and hot conditions.
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