500th EC135 Delivered
Eurocopter’s German facility in Donauwörth delivered the 500th EC135 helicopter. Went to Austrian rescue service ÖAMTC
Eurocopter, August 30, 2006 - Marignane/Donauwörth - Today, the 500th EC135 helicopter built at Eurocopter’s German production facility in Donauwörth was delivered to the Austrian Motorist and Touring Club (ÖAMTC).
General Manager of Eurocopter’s German sites, Dr. Wolfgang Schoder, handed over the aircraft to Mr. Kurt Noé-Nordberg, CEO of ÖAMTC Air Ambulance Services. This is the 25th EC135 for ÖAMTC, one of the largest private operators of this helicopter type in the world.
The concurrence of two “round” numbers – EC135 serial number 500 is ÖAMTC’s 25th – is a lucky coindicence after decades of close cooperation between the two companies. Back in 1983, ÖAMTC acquired its first Eurocopter EMS helicopter, an AS350 at that time and named “Christophorus 1”. Soon after, ÖAMTC was serving six rescue bases with its helicopters. As part of its fleet modernization which commenced in 1997, ÖAMTC successively introduced the EC135 for all its bases and bought an initial batch of seven. In September 2000, the Austrian government decided to privatize helicopter EMS entirely. The ÖAMTC took over the bases which had been previously operated by the government with the most modern rescue helicopter in the market, the EC135. Over the years, an additional 18 aircraft were purchased of which the last and latest was handed over today.
Bestseller EC135 – versatile, safe and cost-efficient
The EC135 stands for modernity and innovation: It is equipped with the world’s most advanced rotor system. According to international safety regulations for EMS, it is powered by two turbine engines. Customers can choose between Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 or Pratt & Whitney PW 206B2 turbines, both capable of producing 690 horsepower, making the EC135 as fast as 287 kilometres per hour and giving it a range of 750 kilometres. The worldwide success of this Eurocopter type is due to the helicopter’s easy handling, its extremely good manoeuvrability and its high availability (98 percent). Other assets of the EC135 lies are its bearingless main rotor and shrouded Fenestron® tail rotor, reducing noise level and vibrations during operations decisively (the external noise level is 7 db below ICAO limits). This makes the EC135 the perfect choice for Air Ambulance missions near or in urban areas and guarantees cost-efficient missions of highest safety standard for crew and patients.
Upgraded version – more payload, power and cruising range
Thanks to comprehensive optimization, the EC135 now offers even more advantages. Takeoff weight was increased to 2,910 kilogrammes. At the same time, net weight was reduced to 1,445 kilogrammes, improving the ratio to 50 %. The payload was increased by about 80 kilogrammes, enabling the operator to either carry one more passenger or to stay airborne 30 more minutes, i.e. travel about 100 kilometres further. If equipped for IFR, the payload increase even amounts up to 90 kilos.
”Eurocopter has decisively minimized maintenance costs of the EC135. Today, an EC135 has to be serviced for the first time after 400 hours flying time. This is an absolute benchmark in its class”, states Fritz Holzinger, Vice President Sales and Customer Relations Central Europe at Eurocopter.
Options to serve any customer need
Two engine options and a huge variety of certified missions packages, also comprising digital cockpit layouts, enable a fully customer-specific configuration of the aircraft.
EC135 – best choice for any rescue mission
A rescue or Air Ambulance helicopter must fulfil the latest European regulations according to JAR-OPS3. For that reason, the aircraft dedicated to the ÖAMTC is equipped with the latest medical and technical gadgets – to ensure an optimal medical care on board.
Meanwhile, ÖAMTC Air Ambulance Services exclusively operates EC135 helicopters. Since the start of service in 1997, the fleet has grown to a total of 25 aircraft (OE-XEA - OE-XEY).
EC135 – Market leader in the light, twin engine segment
By purchasing the EC135 back in 1997, the ÖAMTC took a decision for the helicopter type which has become the undisputed leader in the world market for new-generation, light, twinengine helicopters. In 2004, a total of 67 aircraft of this type were ordered, whereas in 2005 the order book counted 87 EC135 aircraft.
By means of highly flexible and customer-oriented production processes, Eurocopter today delivers 100 percent on time and quality. Due to the ever-increasing demand for the EC135, the production rate is constantly rising. While back in 2004 a total of 60 aircraft had been produced, some 72 helicopters were built in 2005. For 2006, 90 aircraft will be delivered out of the Donauwörth facility. On average, every third day, an EC135 leaves the final assembly line.
About Eurocopter: Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 13,500 people. In 2005, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 3.2 billion euros, orders for 401 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 16 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 9,500 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,500 customers in 139 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.