Airbus Helicopters has completed deliveries of three H135s, the latest version of its family, for emergency medical services (EMS) operations by SAF Group.
The first aircraft is in service in Toulouse while the second and third helicopters are destined to perform EMS missions in Alençon and Besançon. These helicopters are the very first H135s to be used in the EMS role in France.
“We are very happy with the additional capabilities, including night flying, further reduced sound levels, and increased payload, that the H135 is providing us for these critical missions.” said Christophe Rosset, CEO of SAF. “We require helicopters with a high level of reliability and availability, always ready to transport critical patients 24/7 from an accident site or from one hospital to another and the H135 meets our stringent requirements” he added.
SAF Hélicoptères operates seven days a week for all types of civilian rescue and protection operations, alongside safety services with a fleet of 40 Airbus helicopters including 27 EC135s – an earlier variant of the H135 family.
“We are proud that SAF group has decided to renew their trust in Airbus Helicopters’ products” said Olivier Michalon, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales in Europe. “The H135, with its large and flexible cabin best suited for treating patients, and the lowest direct maintenance cost in its class, is the reference for emergency medical services” he added.
A light twin-engine helicopter, the H135 is the latest upgrade version of its family. The new model’s improved features include increased flight performance in hot and high environments, at sea level, during CAT A missions and in OEI (One Engine Inoperative) situations. This was achieved by enlarging the rotor, modifying the air intake, modernizing the FADEC flight control software and adding new features to the cockpit. The maximum take-off weight (MTOW) is increased by 30 kg to 2,980 kg. These measures dramatically improve flight performance, power reserves and safety margins.
A helicopter can cover distances three to five times faster than a ground vehicle. Being able to land as close as possible to the accident site and transport a medical team quickly to the patient can make all the difference. Airbus Helicopters, with 60 per cent of the market share is the uncontested leader of the EMS market. Approximately 1,200 Airbus helicopters are currently in service worldwide for EMS missions.