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MBB Bölkow BO.105
MBB / Kawasaki BK.117
D-HLLL MBB BO.105 CBS-5 c/n S-875 - DRF "Christoph 46" - DRF-Luftrettungszentrum Zwickau in Germany - 7 June 2006 lifeliner helicopters

The MBB Bo.105 is a five-seat lightweight, general-purpose helicopter. Development of the Bo.105 started back in 1959 when Bölkow designed the Bo.103 helicopter. The Bo.103 single-seat flew first on 14 September 1961. The two-seat Bo.104 followed this study-project. Due to marketing reasons this project was stopped in favour of the five-seat Bo.105. Design work for the Bo.105 began in July 1962. Construction of the first of three prototypes began in 1964. The first Bo.105 prototype D-HAKO s/n V-1 was destroyed in ground tests and written off in October 1966. The second machine, D-HECA s/n V-2, was powered by two 317shp Allison 250C18 turboshafts and on 16 February 1967, the BO105 took off for its maiden flight in Ottobrunn (near Munich), Germany. On 14 May 1969, Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm GmbH (MBB) was formed and development of the Bo.105 continued with the first production BO-105A, D-HABV s/n S-1, flying on 11 April 1970. The breakthrough came in 1974 when the German Army ordered the BO 105 as a connection and observation helicopter. In January 1992, the MBB Bo 105 became part of the large helicopters types row of Eurocopter when the helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale from France merged to form the Eurocopter Group. In 1993, the BO 105 CBS with a 25cm fuselage stretch and extra window was certificated. Over the years, license agreements for the BO105 CB/CBS versions with the Philippines, Indonesia and Spain were concluded, and for the BO105 LS, a cooperation agreement with Canada. Until production ended in 2001, as the BO105 was superseded by Eurocopter’s EC135, a total of 1,406 BO105s had been delivered to 55 customer nations.

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.

The DRF facilities at "Städtische Klinikum Heinrich-Braun-Krankenhaus Zwickau", LRZ Zwickau, were opened on 1 August 1991. On 7 June 2006, RTH (Rettungstransporthubschrauber) MBB BO.105CBS-5 D-HLLL of DRF-Deutsche Rettungflugwacht e.V. (Rettungsdienststiftung Björn Steiger e.V.) was seen in service as "Christoph 46" at the helipad of DRF-Luftrettungszentrum Zwickau in Sachsen, Germany. Call sign "Christoph" is used for the German lifeliner helicopters since 1970 and is derived of Saint Christophorus, the Patron Saint for all travellers. On 23 September 2008, DRF - Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V. was renamed DRF Luftrettung. In July 2009, the DRF Luftrettung MBB BO.105CBS-5 helicopter in service as "Christoph 46" was replaced by a DRF Luftrettung Eurocopter EC135 P2+.

In 1991, MBB Bo.105CBS-5 s/n S-875 was built as Bo.105CBS-4 and tested as D-HFNG. The same year, the Bo.105CBS-4 was registered D-HMBM and used by MBB as a demonstrator. In 1992, the helicopter was registered N4345F as a Bo.105S with American Eurocopter Corp. in the USA and used by AEC as a demonstrator. Registration N4345F was cancelled on 28 July 1993 and the helicopter returned to Germany. The aircraft was upgraded to the Bo.105CBS-5 standard and registered D-HLLL with DRF - Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V. in October 1994. On 23 September 2008, DRF - Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V. was renamed DRF Luftrettung. In 2009, Bo.105CBS-5 D-HLLL was withdrawn from use by DRF Luftrettung and stored engine-less at Karlsruhe - Baden-Baden Airport. After maintenance and repaint in the DRF Luftrettung’s maintenance facility at Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Bo.105CBS-5 D-HLLL returned in service as a recue helicopter. In 2011, MBB Bo.105CBS-5 D-HLLL was seen all yellow with HELOG / West African Air Rescue Association titles.

page last updated: 13-01-2014
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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