Airbus Helicopters Inc. has delivered a fourth AS350 B2 AStar helicopter equipped for law enforcement missions to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) in Tampa, Fla. The aircraft replaces an EC120B to give Hillsborough an all-AStar fleet.
The Hillsborough Sheriff’s Aviation Unit performs a wide variety of missions including law enforcement, light firefighting and search & rescue. The AS350 B2 was completed at by Airbus Helicopters Inc. in Grand Prairie, Texas. The ship is equipped with a FLIR 230HD thermal imager, Spectrolab SX-5 searchlight, AeroComputers moving map system, along with NVG cockpit modifications by AeroDynamix. A cargo hook completes the mission equipment on the AS350 B2.
“I am extremely pleased with the quality of the complex law enforcement completion performed in Texas by Airbus Helicopters Inc.,” said Sheriff David Gee, who is also a commercial helicopter pilot. “Our fleet of AStars performs well and has low operating costs, which makes them a great asset for the deputies on the ground at a reasonable cost to the citizens.”
Hillsborough County’s newest AS350 B2 bears the tail number N188FS, which is a tribute to Freddie Solomon. Solomon was a star receiver for the San Francisco 49ers who wore number “88” on his jersey. Later, as an employee of the HCSO, Solomon worked with disadvantaged youth and was known as “coach” by the kids. Solomon died of cancer in 2012. A football with the word “coach” follows the tail number on the newest HCSO aircraft.
“Hillsborough County’s AStar fleet will perform a variety of missions, which shows the flexibility of this helicopter platform for law enforcement,” said Ed Van Winkle, Sales Manager, Airborne Law Enforcement for Airbus Helicopters Inc. “The high quality of the law enforcement completion on this aircraft highlights Airbus Helicopters’ continued leadership in this area.”
Airbus Helicopters’ AS350-series is the helicopter-of-choice for U.S. law enforcement agencies with more than 220 in use across the country. Built and certified by Airbus Helicopters Inc. in Columbus, Miss., this cost-effective helicopter cruises at 133 kts and has a range of up to 360 nautical miles with the power of its 732-shp Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 turboshaft engine.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office AS350 B2 will be on display at Heli-Expo 2015 at the Pall Aerospace Booth #1103.
For more information on the AS350 AStar series of helicopters for law enforcement and other missions, visit Airbus Helicopters at Heli-Expo Booth #2437 in Orlando.
About Airbus Helicopters Inc.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry’s most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters serving all markets and missions. The company’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.
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