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 T2+ D-HVBE of the
Bundespolizei / Bundesminsterium des Innern was photographed at the
helipad of the Luftrettungsszentrum Hannover at the parking garage roof
of the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH) in Germany when in service
as "Christoph 4". Eurocopter EC135T2+ D-HBVE replaced at that time the
EC135 T2+ air rescue helicopter normaly used "Christoph 4". 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 the Medizinische Hochschule
Hannover (MHH) in Hannover were opened on 2 October 1972. On that day,
operations of "Christoph 4" started in the Hannover area as a test with
a MBB Bölkow Bo.105 C in yellow 'Katastrophenschutz' colours. Around
1977, the colours 'Katastrophenschutz' helicopters changed to orange. In
1984, the MBB B0.105CBS in service with "Christoph 4" was replaced by a
Dornier-Bell UH-1D medical helicopter of the BMI - Bundesministerium des
Inneren, o/b Bundesgrenzschutz Fliegerstaffel Nord. In December 1997,
the Dornier-Bell UH-1D was replaced by a MBB Bo.105CBS-5. On 1 July
2005, the Bundesgrenzschutz Fliegerstaffel Nord was renamed
Bundespolizeifliegerstaffel Nord. In 2007, the MBB BO.105CBS-5 in
service as "Christoph 4" was replaced by
Eurocopter EC135 T2+ D-HZSD.
As the MBB BO.105CBS-5, the Eurocopter EC135 T2+ "Christoph 4" is flown
by the Bundespolizeifliegerstaffel Nord. Call sign "Christoph" is used
for the German lifeliner helicopters since 1970 and is derived of Saint
Christophorus, the Patron Saint for all travellers.
Eurocopter EC135 T2+ c/n 0152 was original built as an EC135 T1 and registered D-HVBE with Bundesminsterium des
Innern o/b Bundesgrenzschutz on 22 February 2001. Early 2002, the aircraft returned to Eurocopter Deutschland
for conversion to the Eurocopter EC135 T2 standard. On 9 April 2002, the D-HVBE was registered as an EC135T2.
On 1 July 2005, the Bundesgrenzschutz Fliegerstaffel was renamed Bundespolizeifliegerstaffel.
In 2010, the helicopter was modified to the EC135 T2+ standard and
re-certified on 18 October 2010.