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.
RTH (Rettungstransporthubschrauber) Eurocopter EC135 P1 D-HKUG "Christoph 32" of ADAC-Luftrettung GmbH was
photographed at the helipad of the ADAC-Luftrettungszentrum Berlin in Germany. The D-HKUG replaced at that time the EC135 T1 D-HEUR as
"Christoph 31". 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 Universitätsklinikum Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, were opened on 1
September 1987. Today this location, located in Steglitz, is known as Charité Berlin - Campus Benjamin Franklin.
The ADAC-Luftrettung helicopter in service as "Christoph 31" was the MBB BO.105 until the type was replaced by the EC135 on 14 November 2001.
The 1999-built Eurocopter EC135P1 c/n 0090 D-HKUG (ex D-HECF) was registered in April 1999. In 2012, Eurocopter EC135 P1 D-HKUG was sold to Western Power Distribution
for their WPD Helicopter Unit. After maintenance and fitment of high-intensity strobe lights, the helicopter was registered G-WPDC with
South Western Helicopters trading as WPD Helicopter Unit, Bristol, UK, on 27 June 2012.