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 EC 135 T2+ D-HZSD of the Bundesminsterium des Innern / Katastrophenschutz was
photographed during Flugplatzfest 2008 at Bielefeld-Windelsbleiche airfield in Germany. At that time, the aircraft was in service as "Christoph
13", stationed at the nearby Luftrettungszentrum Bielefeld. Air Rescue Station Bielefeld is situated close to the Bielefeld-Rosenhöhe hospital.
Bundesgrenzschutz Fliegerstaffel Nord flies the helicopters of “Christoph 13”. Operations of "Cristoph 13"
in the Bielefeld area started on 3 July 1976. 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 helicopters in use are
operated by the Bundespolizeifliegerstaffel Nord. On 20 August 2007, the MBB BO.105CBS-5
in service as "Christoph 13" was replaced by
Eurocopter EC135 T2+ D-HZSE.
On 31 January 2007, the BMI - Bundesministerium des Inneren (German Ministry of the Interior) took delivery of the
first pair of a total of sixteen EC135 T2+ air rescue helicopters for the BBK - Bundesamtes für Bevölkerungsschutz und
Katastrophenhilfe. The EC135 T2+ air rescue helicopters replaced the ageing
MBB Bo.105 helicopters in service.
Eurocopter Germany used test-registration D-HECW for the 2007-built Eurocopter EC135 T2+ c/n 0553. On 24 May 2007,
the EC135 T2+ was registered D-HZSD with BMI - Bundesministerium des Inneren.