Airbus Helicopters, July 31, 2014 - Donauwörth, Germany – The handover of the first EC145 T2 to DRF Luftrettung marks yet another milestone for Airbus Helicopters in the successful program for the BK117/EC145 family.
In spring 2014, the latest addition to the family received certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency EASA and is now ready to take on a wide variety of missions.
More than 100 orders have already been placed for the new helicopter, which was developed and manufactured in Donauwörth.
Dr. Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters in Germany, handed over this first EC145 to German air rescue company DRF Luftrettung, which has ordered 20 of these helicopters.
"The handover of the first EC145 T2 is a significant event for all of us at Airbus Helicopters and we are thrilled to be delivering this aircraft to one of our most loyal customers—DRF Luftrettung. The EC145 T2 embodies our aim to offer our customers the best helicopters for their missions, with economical operating costs and tailored support and service packages," said Schoder.
"We’re proud today to be the first operator in the world to take delivery of an EC145 T2," explained Steffen Lutz, a member of the DRF Luftrettung Board of Directors. "We’re expecting this helicopter to enter service at our 24/7 air rescue station in Munich around the end of the year. We’ve been using night vision goggles there since 2009, when we became Germany’s first air rescue organization to do so, and the new EC145 T2 is ideal for nighttime rescue missions."
The EC145 T2 has proved itself to be a genuine multi-role helicopter. Its compact size, the variety of flexible cabin equipment options, and outstanding flight performance even under the most extreme weather conditions open up a host of mission possibilities. This is why Europe’s leading air rescue organizations have among them ordered a total of 85 of these aircraft. These customers have been joined by a German police air squadron and the German Armed Forces, which plans to customize 15 of these helicopters for Special Forces operations. In addition, the EC145 T2 will be used to transport personnel to offshore platforms, and orders have also been received for the luxury corporate version designed for business travel. Some 20 helicopters will be delivered by the end of this year.
Its improved performance and particular suitability for air rescue missions sets the EC145 T2 apart from earlier models in the BK117/EC145 family. It fulfills the most recent and stringent aviation authority regulations while also requiring less maintenance thanks to an extended time-between-overhaul on main components and the setup of a maintenance continuous improvement process.. And with noise emissions significantly below international limits, the EC145 T2 is the quietest helicopter in its class.
Among the new features are Turbomeca Arriel-2E engines with dual-channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and a Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, along with upgraded main and new tail rotor gear boxes. The cockpit uses the Helionix® digital avionics suite with 4-axis autopilot that was developed by Airbus Helicopters. Its outstanding hover performance—even in single-engine situations (one engine inoperative, OEI)—is crucial for flight safety, especially for air rescue missions.
The EC145 T2 is a twin-engine, four-ton-class, multi-role helicopter that was first presented in 2011. It is the latest addition to Airbus Helicopters’ BK117/EC145 family, which is designed and built in Donauwörth and has enjoyed decades of success.
Airbus Helicopters offers customers an extensive range of services to support them in putting the EC145 T2 into service and also later during operation. This includes training for technicians and pilots as well as an enhanced inventory of spare parts and tailored maintenance programs, such as the parts-by-the-hour service or Turbomeca’s service-by-the-hour option for the engines. These maintenance programs are designed to reduce operating costs and ensure the rotorcraft experience the highest levels of availability. A full flight simulator will be available in 2016.
About DRF Luftrettung: DRF Luftrettung deploys helicopters on emergency rescue missions and to transport critically ill patients between hospitals. It operates 30 bases across Germany and Austria—eight of which are manned 24 hours a day. Several air ambulances are also used to rescue injured people from all over the world. Over the past 41 years, the red-and-white life savers have performed some 700,000 rescue missions. In the first half of 2014 alone, DRF Luftrettung’s pilots, emergency physicians and paramedics responded to 19,523 situations. As a non-profit organization, DRF Luftrettung relies on donations to continue its activities.