Helicopters Airbus Helicopters delivers last Dauphin helicopter ever

Airbus Helicopters has delivered the last ever aircraft from the Dauphin aircraft family, an AS365 helicopter.

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The Spanish Customs Service has received a new helicopter, a new AS365 Dauphin from Airbus Helicopters. This delivery is the end of an era for the manufacturer, as the aircraft represents the very last Dauphin helicopter to be delivered.

Over decades, the Dauphin helicopter family has been a reliable helicopter for a variety of missions. The Spanish Customs Service has been operating with the aircraft for two decades. The delivery of the last AS365 twenty years later is the closing of a circle.

Fernando Lombo, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in Spain, confirmed: “The Spanish Customs has been a longstanding partner since 1985 and we are very proud of how, since the first Dauphin was handed over to them in 2002, these helicopters have carried out essential tasks for the population such as the fight against drug trafficking in a hostile environment […] Thank you to the women and men at Customs who are taking full advantage of the Dauphin's marine patrol capabilities, flying the outstanding figure of almost 1,000 hours a year with each Dauphin to protect our community."

The operator will use the AS365 to improve the Customs Surveillance Service´s capacity in the Strait of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea and in Galicia. Specifically, the operator seeks to combat drug trafficking. For these missions, Spain relies on three Dauphin aircraft.

With the fleet, Spanish Customs is able to perform maritime missions to chase, track, intercept smuggling boats that are normally transporting contraband goods. According to Airbus, the operator was able to seize more than 200 tons of illegal drugs in 2021 by incorporating the helicopter fleet.

This last Dauphin helicopter was manufactured at Airbus Helicopter´s facilities in Albacete. The manufacturer installed equipment like electro-optical system, a radar, a tactical communications system and a search light. Most of the flights are being performed during night.

With additional fuel tanks, the Dauphin is capable of staying in the air for up to 3 hours and 30 minutes. A fast cruise speed of 145 kts can be reached.

Over the years, Airbus has manufactured more than 1,100 aircraft from the Dauphin helicopter family. In 40 years, the global fleet flew seven million flight hours with operators from 70 different countries across the globe.

Source © airbus.com

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