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Last of the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphins Delivered

Twin-engine European Workhorse Ceases Production, Capping 47 Years of Service

The last of the Dauphin family of helicopters has left the factory, with more than 1,100 built since its introduction 40 years ago.

Throughout its life, the type has racked up more than 7 million flight hours across 70 countries. The AS365 has been superseded by the Airbus H160, but will likely remain in service for decades more. 

The final Dauphin was delivered to the Spanish Customs Service, where it will join the 2 of its brethren in their duties: maritime patrol, tracking and intercepting smuggling watercraft, and seizing contraband. Spanish Customs Surveillance stands watch over the Strait of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea, and Galicia, offering plentiful smugglers to chase down. In 2021 alone, the fleet contributed to the seizure of more than 200 tons of illegal drugs in Spain. As delivered, the A365 N3 came equipped with a bag of tricks foreign to its original 1975 introduction. Electro-optical sensors, radar, floodlights, and long-range comms systems all kept the Dauphin mission-ready day or night, and its long-range fuel tanks ensure the N3 spec can fly up to 3.5 hours at a fast cruise of 145 knots. 

“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,” said Fernando Lombo, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in Spain. "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".



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