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Eurocopter EC135
D-HHIT Eurocopter EC135 P2 c/n 0380 - ADAC Luftrettung "Christoph Europa 1" - Flugplatz Aachen-Merzbrück in Germany - 3 December 2016 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 1400 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.

On 3 December 2016, RTH (Rettungstransporthubschrauber) EC135 P2 D-HHIT "Christoph Europa 1" was photographed with "Notruf 112 europaweit" titles at the helipad of the ADAC-Luftrettungszentrum Würselen. The Air Rescue Station Würselen is situated at Verkehrslandeplatz Aachen-Merzbrück in Germany. Since 18 September 2010, this 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" and was in the past also operated as back-up for the MMT Lifeliners in the Netherlands.

page last updated: 09-10-2020
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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