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Eurocopter EC135
PH-MAA German Army 82+64
D-HHIT Eurocopter EC135 P2 c/n 0380 - ADAC Luftrettung "Christoph Europa 1" - Flugplatz Aachen-Merzbrück in Germany - 19 April 2012 more lifeliner helicopters

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) EC135 P2 D-HHIT "Christoph Europa 1" was photographed at the helipad of the ADAC-Luftrettungszentrum Würselen. This Air Rescue Station is situated at Verkehrslandeplatz Aachen-Merzbrück in Germany and since 18 September 2010, the air rescue center is located in a completely new developed building, including the most modern requirements. Operations of this RTH started on 14 August 1974 as "SAR 72" flown by Bundeswehr with a Dornier Bell UH-1D at Rettungzentrum Würselen, in the beginning also known as Rettungszentrum Aachen. Until 1 March 1998, the military Dornier Bell UH-1D SAR / Notartz helicopter was the standard machine of RTH "SAR 72". On 1 March 1998, the Bundeswehr was replaced in service as helicopter operator of the Luftrettungszentrum Würselen by ADAC Luftrettung. Call sign "SAR 72" changed in that time to "Christoph Europe 1". Because the catchment aerea of the RTH is also across national borders the name "Christoph Europe 1" was choosen instead of "Christoph 21". The callsign "Christoph" is used for the German lifeliner helicopters since 1970 and is derived of Saint Christophorus, the Patron Saint for all travellers. The 2005-built Eurocopter EC-135 P2 D-HHIT was registered on 18 January 2005 and delivered to the ADAC Luftrettung GmbH in Germany. Eurocopter EC135 P2 D-HHIT is used to operate as "Christoph Europe 1", but was in the past also used as back-up when needed for the MAA Lifeliners in the Netherlands.

page last updated: 22-01-2014
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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