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Airbus Helicopters EC135
Airbus Helicopters EC145
Airbus Helicopters H145
PH-HOW Airbus Helicopters MBB-BK117 D2 c/n 20082 - ANWB / RAV Fryslân - Amsterdam Heliport in Holland - 14 October 2018 Heliport Amsterdam (EHHA)

The Airbus Helicopters H145 is a ten-seat multi-mission medium-weight class, twin-engine helicopter. Development of the H145 started in 1977 as BK117 in a co production between MBB from Germany and Kawasaki Heavy Industries from Japan. The first of four prototypes, two built by MBB in Donauwörth and two by Kawasaki in Gifu, flew in Germany on 13 June 1979. The first prototype built in Japan flew on 10 August 1979. The first production aircraft (built by KHI in Japan) flew in December 1981, and first deliveries took place early in 1983. Initial production was of the BK 117 A1, while the BK 117 A3 with higher max takeoff weight and enlarged tail rotor with twisted blades was certificated in March 1985. The BK 117 A4 with increased performance and improved tail rotor head was introduced in 1987. The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale from France merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group. Development of the EC145 started in 1997 in a co production by Eurocopter Germany and Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The EC 145 flew first in 1999 and is in production since 2002. The EC 145 is actual the MBB-BK117 C-2 and the German Government Agencies (LBA) Type Certificate was originally issued on 20 December 2000 to Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH. In July 2006, the U.S. Army selected the military variant of the EC145, the UH-145 (renamed UH-72A) as the U.S. Army's new multi-mission Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). Next to the Eurocopter Deutschland EC145 productionline in Donauwörth, the EC145 is manufactured by American Eurocopter LLC in Columbus, Mississippi, USA in the LUH configuration as UH-72A Lakota for the U.S. Army. In 2010, Eurocopter signed a agreement with Kazakhstan Engineering to create a 50/50 joint venture to assemble and customise EC145s in Kazakhstan. In 2011, Eurocopter officially launched an evolved version of the EC145, known first as the EC-145T2M or MBB-BK117 D2. The EC-145T2 has a significant increase of the aircraft's performance, featuring new Arriel 2E turboshaft engines, along with Eurocopter's Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, upgraded main and tail rotor gear boxes, dual-digital Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) and a 4-axis autopilot. EASA Type Certification was received on 16 April 2014. In March 2015, Airbus Helicopters changed the marketing name for its entire product line to better reflect its closer allignment with ist parent company and simplify the naming convention for the portfolio. That is why the EC145 T2 helicopter has since been marketed as “H145” as stated in revison No.EASA.R.010 Issue: 06 of the Type Certificate Data Sheet for MBB BK117 dated 17 April 2015. Today, over 200 Airbus Helicopters H145 rotorcraft are in service. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the H145 helicopter is EC45.

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.

Until July 2015, the Dutch Defense gave emergency assistance by helicopter for the Friesian Islands when someone had to be flown from Isles to the hospitals on the mainland. Since it was not a task of Defense, Regional Ambulance Provision (RAV) Fryslân took over this task. RAV arranges ambulance care in Friesland: via land, water and therefore also through the air. After two tenders, RAV Friesland awarded ANWB Medical Air Assistance (MAA) as the operator of the ambulance helicopter. The partnership with ANWB Medical Air Assistance allowed RAV Friesland to start from 16 November 2016 with it’s helicopter operations. The contracts signed on 19 August 2016, is a contract for a period of five years. As the ANWB Medical Air Assistance (MAA) helicopter needs to be 24/7 available, ANWB Medical Air Assistance (MAA) uses two Airbus Helicopters H145 helicopters, PH-OOP and PH-HOW, on this contract, of which one need to be stationed at Leeuwarden AFB and 24/7 available.
On 16 December 2015, registration D-HYAI was reserved in Germany for the Airbus Helicopters MBB-BK117 D2 s/n 20082. In May 2016, the helicopter flew first with the Airbus Helicopters test-registration D-HCBV. On 13 June 2016, the Airbus Helicopters H145 was registered D-HYAI with ADAC Luftrettung GmbH, Bonn/Hangelar. However registered and delivered to ADAC Luftrettung in June 2016, the H145 didn't enter service with a regular "Christoph" rescue team of ADAC Luftrettung, but stayed in full ADAC Luftrettung "Christoph" colors at the ALT-ADAC Luftfahrt Technik grounds at Bonn-Hangelar. In the second half of October, the helicopter returned to the ALT hangars to be prepared for the ANWB Medical Air Assistance / RAV Fryslân operations. On 28 October 2016, the Airbus Helicopters H145 was registered PH-HOW with ANWB Medical Air Assistance and on 1 November 2016, flown as PH-HOW to Leeuwarden AFB. In April 2017, H145 PH-HOW returned to ALT in Bonn Hangelar for maintenance and repaint in the standard ANWB yellow in stead of the standard ADAC Luftrettung yellow. ANWB Medical Air Assistance operates, next to the two Airbus Helicopters H145 T2 (MBB-BK 117 D-2) helicopters commissioned by RAV Fryslân, six EC135 / H135 EMS Lifeliner helicopters. On 14 October 2018, when on its way to Helitech International 2018 in the RAI in Amsterdam, the ANWB MAA' Airbus Helicopters H145 PH-HOW was seen at Heliport Amsterdam.
On 23 March 2020, during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, EC145 PH-HOW was adjusted to transport intensive care patients as soon as possible. The helicopter, operated as Lifeliner 5, was based at Volkel AFB and deployable throughout the Netherlands.

page last updated: 26-03-2020
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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