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Eurocopter EC135
PH-EMS German Army 82+64
Eurocopter EC130 B4
D-HIPT Airbus Helicopters EC135 P1 c/n 0109 - ADAC-Luftrettung "Christoph 70" - Flugplatz Jena-Schöngleina in Germany - 28 July 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.

RTH (Rettungstransporthubschrauber) EC135 P1 D-HIPT "Christoph 70" was photographed at the helipad of the ADAC-Luftrettungszentrum Jena. This Air Rescue Station is situated at the airfield Jena-Schöngleina in Germany and was opened in June 2005. Until June 2005 the helicopter of the Air Rescue station was located in a temporary hangar at Jena-Schöngleina. Operations of the Air Rescue station Jena started on 8 June 1994. First a Bell UH-1D of the German Army was used. In January 1996, the ADAC-Luftrettung GmbH took over the flying operations. The 1999-built EC-135P1 c/n 0109 was registered in July 1999 as D-HIPT and delivered to the ADAC Luftrettung GmbH. The callsign "Christoph" is used for the German lifeliner helicopters since 1970 and is derived of Saint Christophorus, the Patron Saint for all travellers. In October 2011, Eurocopter EC135 P1 D-HIPT was sold to Western Power Distribution for their WPD Helicopter Unit. After maintanance by ADAC Luftfahrt Technik at Bonn-Hangelar, the helicopter was registered G-WPDA with South Western Helicopters trading as WPD Helicopter Unit, Bristol, UK, on 12 January 2012.

page last updated: 28-01-2018
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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