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Eurocopter EC135
OE-XEA German Army 82+64
Eurocopter EC130 B4
PH-EMS Airbus Helicopters EC135 T2 c/n 0374 - "Lifeliner 1" - Amsterdam Heliport in Holland - 16 October 2005 lifeliner helicopters

The Airbus Helicopters EC135 / H135 is a lightweight five/seven seat twin-turbine-engine multi-role helicopter with a radius of 720 km. The EC135 is offered with either Safran Helicopter Engines (former: Turbomeca) Arrius 2B2 or Pratt & Whitney 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 Aérospatiale 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 and went in series production in 1996 at Donauwörth. On 14 June 1996, the German certification was granted by the LBA and the first customer delivery followed on 31 July that year. Next to the EC135 a special military version was developed designated the Eurocopter EC635. The EC635 has a structural reinforcement of cabin structure and can be equipped with wire-guided, laser-guided, autonomous missiles. Over 1300 EC135 / H135 / H135M airframes have been delivered since the helicopter entered service in 1996. In March 2015, Airbus Helicopters renamed its entire product line to better reflect its closer allignment with ist parent company and simplify the naming convention for the portfolio. Therefore, the EC135 T3/P3 were renamed as “H135” as stated in revison No.EASA.R.009 Issue: 07 of the Type Certificate Data Sheet for EC135 dated 18 March 2015. “H135M” is used as marketing designation for the military EC635 P3(CPDS); EC635 P3H; EC635 T3(CPDS) and EC635 T3H helicopters. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the EC135 / H135 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.

Eurocopter EC135 T2 PH-EMS "Lifeliner 1" was photographed at Heliport Amsterdam. The MMT (Mobil Medical Team) "Lifeliner 1" base is at the helideck of the VUmc - VU medisch centrum in Amsterdam. The 2004-built Eurocopter EC-135T2 c/n 0374 was registered PH-EMS in the Netherlands with Medical Air Assistance BV on 3 December 2004. On 3 February 2005, the PH-EMS was registered with ANWB Medical Air Assistance BV. In January 2005, Eurocopter EC135 T2 helicopters replaced the MBB Bo-105 and the MDHI MD-900 helicopters in service with the MMTs in the Netherlands. The PH-EMS replaced BO-105CBS-4 PH-KHD that was operated before as "Lifeliner 1". After being withdrawn from use the MBB Bo-105CBS-4 PH-KHD was stored at Bonn-Hangelar in Germany early 2005. On 9 May 2006, the PH-KHD was transported to the Aviodrome in Lelystad, where this helicopter is on static display. On 7 November 2014, registration PH-EMS was cancelled as exported to Austria. In November 2014, the helicopter was registered OE-XVE in Austria with Helikopter Air Transport Gesellschaft m.b.H., Wien.
The four EMS / Lifeliner helicopters in the Netherlands are: "Lifeliner 1" with medical support from VUmc in Amsterdam; "Lifeliner 2" with medical support from ErasmusMC in Rotterdam; "Lifeliner 3" with medical support from Radboudumc in Nijmegen and "Lifeliner Europe 4" with medical support from UMC Groningen. ANWB Medical Air Assistance operates, next to the four lifeliner helicopters, one EC135 T2+ and one H135 (EC135 P3H) helicopter for crew training and as a spare aircraft for maintenance cover of the lifeliners. In the past, when needed for maintenance, ADAC Luftrettung gave the MMT back-up service with EC135 P2 D-HHIT and/or D-HHTS. Next to the Lifeliner helicopters, ANWB Medical Air Assistance operates two Airbus Helicopters H145 T2 (MBB-BK 117 D-2) helicopters from Leeuwarden AFB, commissioned by RAV Fryslân.

page last updated: 03-02-2018
Photo Copyright © Janet Schuringa, the Netherlands

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