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Encyclopedia - Eurocopter AS-365 Dauphin

The Dauphin is a medium weight multipurpose civil twin-engine helicopter. The Dauphin 2 is the military version of the Dauphin series. It is a complete redesign of the civilian Dauphin with only tail similarities remaining. The Dauphin 2 also has retractable landing gear as opposed to the fixed gear on the civilian Dauphin. It is built by the Eurocopter, owned 70% by Aerospatiale France and 30% by Daimler Aerospace (DASA) of Germany.

First flown in 1973, this single engined utility helicopter was used in a variety of roles including helicopter gunship/attack. Designed for transporting passengers (Offshore, corporate or VIP) and for carrying out missions in the Public Services (Police, Fire- fighting). The AS 565 Panther is the military version of the Dauphin, capable of transporting 8 to 10 commandos to the combat zones, casualty evacuation and logisitic support. The AS 565 SB is the armed version of the shipborne Panther. It can be carried on board a combat vessel to improve the vessel's observation, reconnaissance and attack capabilities well beyond the range of the vessel's detection system.

With a four-blade main rotor, two turboshaft engines are mounted side by side on top of the cabin with an air intake on side of motor hump and exhausts at the rear of the hump. The teardrop-shaped body features a tapered boom to the tail fin, a rounded nose and stepped-up cockpit, and retractable gear and flat bottom. The tail flats feature swept-back tips forward of the swept-back and tapered fin with a blunt tip. The rotor is inside a housing at the bottom of the fin. A weapons carrying platform is installed on some models.

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