Cologne, At the European Rotors trade show, German Helicopter Emergency Medical Services operator DRF Luftrettung has ordered two additional H145 helicopters and signed a contract covering the whole fleet with a tailored HDataPower pack from Airbus Helicopters’ Connected Services suite of data services.
The two H145s are in addition to the current fleet of 15 H145s and three H135s already ordered in 2020. All 20 helicopters will be delivered to the customer by the end of 2024; 11 of them have already been delivered to the customer. They have already begun replacing older BK117 and EC145 helicopters.
“Our mission is to continuously improve medical care for people in need. To achieve this, DRF Luftrettung operates the most modern helicopters available, now being the largest H145 operator in Europe. With the new Airbus contract we further enhance our ongoing fleet modernization thus setting the course for the future”, says Achim Vogel, Head of Central Purchasing and Logistics at DRF Luftrettung.
The tailored HDataPower pack is a set of digital services designed to improve flight availability and operational safety. “By leveraging the data generated from helicopter systems, Connected Services provide in-depth analysis of flight, maintenance and logistics operations and set the stage for improvement actions and time savings. Prime examples are Flight Analyser, which supports operational safety, and connectivity devices such as wACS, our wireless airborne communication system,” says Christoph Zammert, Executive Vice President of Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters. “We’re honoured to help boost DRF Luftrettung operations, allowing them to carry out their important daily missions.”
DRF Luftrettung is one of the largest and most experienced air rescue organisations in Europe. The organisation and its subsidiaries operate more than 50 Airbus helicopters at 37 bases throughout Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland for emergency rescue and intensive care transports including special mission profiles such as hoist operations and day and night operations.
The new version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta. This latest upgrade adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design also eases maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew.
In total, there are more than 1,500 H145 family helicopters in service, logging a total of more than six million flight hours. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.