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SA 365 Dauphin 2
AS365 Dauphin
AS365N3 Dauphin 2 of the Victoria Police Air Wing
Role transport/utility helicopter
Manufacturer Aérospatiale (originally)
First flight 24 January 1975
Introduction December 1978
Status In service
Primary users Pawan Hans
Maryland State Police
Produced 1975-present
Unit cost
<US$10M, €7.5M
Developed from Aérospatiale SA 360
Variants Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin
Eurocopter AS565 Panther
Eurocopter EC 155
Harbin Z-9

The Eurocopter SA 365/AS365 Dauphin 2 (Dolphin) is a medium-weight multipurpose twin-engine helicopter originally manufactured by Aérospatiale, later by Eurocopter. Several major variations of the Dauphin have been developed and entered production, including the military-oriented Eurocopter Panther, the HH/MH-65 Dolphin, the Chinese-produced Harbin Z-9 and the improved Eurocopter EC155.

Design and development

Developed from the single-engined Aérospatiale SA 360 Dauphin variant, the SA 365/AS365 Dauphin 2 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.

Eurocopter AS365 N2 cockpit

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. 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.


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

Regarding the naming of the different variants, it should be noted that, until January 1990, the AS365 models were designated as SA 365.

Civil variants

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 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 (8,488 lb) was later raised to 4,000 kg (8,819 lb). Deliveries of the production model began in 1982.
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 undercarridge doors replaced by simplified fairings and a higher gross weight of 4,100 kg (9,039 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 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.
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 or 231 mph) over a 3 km triangular course.
EC155 B/B1

Eurocopter EC155 B1 at Paris Air Show 2007

US Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin

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

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

AS365 N2 Dauphin 2 of the Icelandic Coast Guard

Civilian operators

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

Military operators

  • Victorian Police[1]
  • Western Australia Police[2]
 Republic of China
  • National Airborne Service Corps[7]
  • Maritime Enforcement Agency[17]
 Saudi Arabia
 Sri Lanka
 United Kingdom
United States

Specifications (AS365 N3)


Data from {}[27]

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



  1. "Victorian Police". Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  2. "Western Australia Police". Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  3. "Argentine Coast Guard". Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  4. Spruce, Terry (28 November 2012). "Dauphin helicopters enter service with Bangladesh Army". Corporate Jet Investor 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  5. Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 48.
  6. "Aerospatiale-AS-365N-2-Dauphin". Demand Media, Inc. ©Copyright 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  7. "National Airborne Service Corps (NASC)". Copyright © 2007 TaiwanAirPower. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  8. Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 51.
  9. "Sécurité Civile". Copyright © 2005-2012 Helico-Fascination. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  10. "Hellenic Air Force Open Day 2004, Elefsina-Tatoi". © Copyright 2002-3 by Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  11. "Icelandic Coast Guard". Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  12. Beech, Eric (30 July 1988). "The Irish Identity". pp. pp. 19–23. 
  13. Hoyle, Craig (15 May 2009). "Irish Air Corps adds helicopters to inventory". Flightglobal. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  14. "Kuwait Police engineering contract". 29 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  15. "Lithuania Orders Eurocopter Dauphin Helos". 28 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  16. "The Lithuanian Air Force orders three Eurocopter AS365 N3 Dauphin helicopters". 28 October 2013. 
  17. "Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency". Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  18. Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 59.
  19. "Pictaero". © 2007-2012 AGAW.,45071. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  20. "SLAF History". Sri Lanka Air Force Command Media Unit. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 62.
  22. "Aerospatiale-AS-365N-2-Dauphin". Demand Media, Inc. ©Copyright 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  23. "UK special forces add fifth N3 Dauphin". © Copyright 2009 - 2012 Helihub. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  24. "HH/MH-65C: Dolphin". United States Coast Guard. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  25. Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 64.
  26. "Uruguayan Air Force". Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  27. "Eurocopter AS365 N3 Technical Data" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2006-11-10. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 


  • Hoyle, Craig (11–17 December 2012). "World Air Forces Directory". pp. pp. 40–64. ISSN 0015-3710. 

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