The Airbus Helicopters EC135 is a lightweight five/seven seat
twin-turbine-engine multi-role helicopter with a radius of 720 km. The
EC135 is offered with either Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 or Pratt and Whitney
Canada PW206B2 engines. A militarized version called the EC 635 has been
developed from the EC 135. Development of the Eurocopter EC135 started
in the 80s as the MBB Bo.108 Advanced Technology Helicopter. The
prototype BO108 with conventional tail rotor flew first on 15 October
1988. When the helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale
from France merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group, the
Bo108 program was transferred as well. An advanced low noise ducted
10-blade Fenestron tail rotor was, next to other modifications,
incorporated into the design and the name of the helicopter was changed
into Eurocopter EC135. The prototype of the EC135 (D-HBOX s/n S-01) flew
first on 15 February 1994 and went into series production in 1996 at
Donauwörth. After German certification was granted on 14 June 1996, was
the first customer delivery on 31 July that year. Next to the EC135 a
special military version was developed designated the Eurocopter EC635.
Over 1300 EC135 airframes have been delivered since the helicopter
entered service in 1996. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the EC135 helicopters is
EC35. In March 2015, Airbus Helicopters renamed its entire product line
to better reflect its closer allignment with ist parent company and
simplify the naming convention for the portfolio. Therefore, the EC135
T3/P3 has been renamed as “H135” as stated in revison No.EASA.R.009 Issue: 07
of the Type Certificate Data Sheet for EC135 dated 18 March 2015.
As a result of the merger between the Eurocopter parents Aérospatiale-Matra; DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA)
and Construcciones Aeronàuticas Sociedad Anonima (CASA) in July 2000, the Eurocopter group became a division of the new formed
EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space company). Taking off into 2014, EADS was rebranded as "Airbus Group". Uniting
all its activities under a single brand, its helicopter division Eurocopter was rebranded as Airbus Helicopters on 8 January 2014.
RTH (Rettungstransporthubschrauber) Eurocopter EC-135 P2 D-HDRC "Christoph 37" of the DRF-Deutsche Rettungflugwacht
e.V. (Rettungsdienststiftung Björn Steiger e.V.) was photographed at the helipad of the DRF-Luftrettungszentrum Nordhausen
in Thüringen, Germany, on 9 June 2008. The call sign "Christoph" is used for the German lifeliner helicopters
since 1970 and is derived of Saint Christophorus, the Patron Saint for all
travellers. The RTH facilities at the "Südharz-Krankenhaus Nordhausen"
were opened on 1 October 1992. The helicopter in service as "Christoph 36"
was a MBB BO.105CBS-5 of the Bundespolizei-Fliegerstaffel Mitte until it was replaced by
an EC135 of the DRF – Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht on 1 July 2006. The 2002-built
Eurocopter EC-135 P2 c/n 0234 D-HDRC (ex D-HECC) was registered on 25 June 2002 with DRF - Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V.
Starting from 23 September 2008, the DRF-Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V.
introduced a new name and logo. From that day, the former DRF consists
of three parts: a non-profit sponsored association, a foundation under
public law and a non-profit corporation which is the operational unit.
The operational work of the DRF continued as before. The German air
rescue companies HSD-Hubschauber Sonder Dienst Flugbetriebs and HDM
Luftrettung also appeared under the name of DRF Luftrettung starting
from 23 September 2008. The previous branding of “Air Rescue Alliance
TEAM DRF” is no longer used.