The Airbus Helicopters EC135 is a lightweight five/seven seat
twin-turbine-engine multi-role helicopter with a radius of 720 km. The
EC 135 is offered with either Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 or Pratt and Whitney
Canada PW206B2 engines. 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. In 1996, the EC135 went into series production by
Eurocopter Deutschland in Donauwörth, Germany. After German
certification was granted on 14 June 1996, the first customer delivery
was on 31 July 1996. Next to the EC135 a special military version was
developed designated the Eurocopter EC635. Over 1200 EC135 airframes
have been delivered since the helicopter entered service in 1996. The
ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the EC135 helicopters is EC35.
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.
On 21 April 2006, Eurocopter EC135 P2 D-HHIT was photographed at the helipad of the helistation of "Lifeliner 2"
at Rotterdam Airport in the Netherlands. The EC135P2 replaced at that time EC135T2
PH-ULP as "Lifeliner 2".
MMT (Mobil Medical Team) "Lifeliner 2" is based at Rotterdam Airport and uses also the helideck
of the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. The 2005-built Eurocopter EC-135 P2 D-HHIT was registered
on 18 January 2005 and delivered to the ADAC Luftrettung GmbH in Germany. The D-HHIT is used to operate as "Christoph
Europe 1" stationed at Aachen-Merzbrück Airfield in Germany. Callsign "Christoph" is used
for the German lifeliner helicopters since 1970 and is derived of Saint Christophorus, the Patron Saint for all
travellers. The 4 EMS-helicopters in the Netherlands are:
"Lifeliner 1" in Amsterdam,
"Lifeliner 2" in Rotterdam;
"Lifeliner 3" at Volkel AFB near Nijmegen and "Lifeliner Europe 4"
in Groningen. ANWB Medical Air Assistance operates, next to the four
lifeliner helicopters, Eurocopter EC135 T2+ PH-HVB for crew training and
as a spare aircraft for maintenance cover of the lifeliners.
When needed for maintenance, ADAC Luftrettung gives the MAA back-up service with EC135 P2