Products, Public Service

Several California Law Enforcement Agencies to Use New AStar Model

By Staff Writer | March 3, 2015

Police

HAI Heli-Expo 2015 Orlando, Fla. – Airbus Helicopters Inc. has announced that numerous California law enforcement agencies have recently purchased or taken delivery of new AS350 B3e AStars, continuing Airbus Helicopters leadership in law enforcement helicopter sales. Recent AS350 B3e customers include the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.

The AS350 B3e is the latest version of the Airbus Helicopters AStar family, the most popular helicopter platform for U.S. law enforcement agencies. The AStar is known for its performance, reliability and multimission flexibility. The B3e brings next-generation performance and safety features to the family. The aircraft is powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine that delivers a higher cruise speed and is equipped with a dual-channel FADEC and Engine Data Recorder which, along with dual hydraulics, enhance safety and systems management.

The CHP has taken delivery of the first of three AS350B3e’s ordered as part of a five year contract to upgrade their entire helicopter fleet. CHP has been flying AS350s for 30 years. AS350 B3e performance improvements will allow the CHP to operate at higher maximum gross weights than their existing AS350 B3’s, which will enhance the capability to conduct search and rescue operations. Completion services were performed by Hangar One Avionics of Carlsbad, Calif.

LAPD has ordered one AS350 B3e as part of a plan to upgrade its entire fleet of 12 AS350 B2 helicopters. Completion of the new helicopter will be performed by the City of Los Angeles Department of General Services.

The LAPD Air Support Division, customers of Airbus Helicopters for 25 years, operates its AStars 17,000 to 18,000 hours per year. “Nobody flies as many hours as we do and our AStars perform the brunt of our missions,” said LAPD Lt. Phil Smith, one of the unit’s 49 pilots. “It was time to make the change to the AS350 B3e for the upgraded performance and safety features. The added capability and safety enhancements of the AS350 B3e will reduce the workload of our pilots.”

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office recently took delivery of two AS350 B3e helicopters to expand its current level of operations. The Riverside County is home to over two million residents and covers more than 7,000 square miles, with altitudes exceeding 10,000 feet. The Sheriff’s fleet performs law enforcement patrol and search and rescue missions across the entire county.

“The Airbus Helicopters AStar continues to be a workhorse for us,” said Sgt. Adam Vallejo, of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Aviation unit. “They are a versatile, multimission platform. We can go and do all of our missions. They are a complete law enforcement helicopter and the AS350 B3e’s, with more power and the ability to get high and hot, will enable us to do more work in the mountains.”

“With many agencies across California ready to replace aging helicopter fleets, the AS350 B3e is the ideal platform to meet the demanding needs for California law enforcement,” said Ed Van Winkle, Sales Manager for Airborne Law Enforcement for Airbus Helicopters Inc. “These orders and deliveries demonstrate the high level of trust that each agency has in the AStar to perform their wide range of missions.”

Airbus Helicopters’ AS350 series are the most widely purchased helicopters by U.S. law enforcement agencies. More than 220 are in use nationwide with 44 different law enforcement agencies, 75 of them delivered in the last five years. Other agencies that have recently purchased the AS350 B3e include the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Each of these law enforcement operators is a new Airbus Helicopters Inc. customer.

For more information on Airbus Helicopters AS350 AStars and other industry leading products, stop by Airbus Helicopters Booth #2437 at Heli-Expo 2015 in Orlando.

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