While on vacation on Big Island, I took a helicopter flight across the island. Other posts will include some of the shots from that flight. However, this is just to give credit to the helicopter itself. I flew with Sunshine Helicopters in one of their EC130s. I imagine the name has changed now that Eurocopter has gone through a couple of brand transitions under the Airbus umbrella.
This was my first ride in a 130. It is a popular airframe on the islands. Eurocopter took the Astar (Squirrel/Ecureuil) as a base and, given that tour operators were squeezing 6 passengers in, they came up with a fuselage that provided comfortable space and lots of window space so that the performance of the airframe could be matched with the level of comfort required. They succeeded in my experience. I should point out I was up front. There are two passenger seats up front alongside the pilot and four in the back. I felt like I had a ton of space to relax and the view was pretty impressive. Whether the middle of the back is as good, I don’t know but everyone seemed to have a really good time. It seems like an airframe designed with something specific in mind and it seems to fulfill the role really well.