In the early 1970s, Aerospatiale in France decided to have a crack at breaking into the light helicopter market, dominated then by the Hughes 500 and Bell 206 five seaters. The design was supposed to have an emphasis on a simple construction and low cost maintenance. For the rotor head, the new ‘Star Flex’ glass fibre head was installed. Having first been used on the SA360 Dauphin only a few years earlier, the new head was to go on to revolutionise rotor head design. With only around 70 parts, it was light, simple and strong. The first AS350 ‘Ecureuil’ flew in June 1974 with a 592 SHP Lycoming LTS101 and a second prototype flew shortly afterwards with a 641 SHP Turbomeca Arriel IB engine.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.helisimmer.com/reviews/review-nemeth-as350-for-fsx-and-prepar3d/