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Eurocopter EC135
PH-MAA German Army 82+64
D-HVBE Eurocopter EC135 T2+ c/n 0152 - Bundespolizei / BMI "Christoph 4" - MMH Hannover in Germany - 8 July 2012 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 changed the marketing name for its entire product line to better reflect its closer allignment with ist parent company and simplify the naming convention for the portfolio. That is why the EC135 T3/P3 has since been marketed 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) Eurocopter EC135 T2+ D-HVBE of the Bundespolizei / Bundesminsterium des Innern was photographed at the helipad of the Luftrettungsszentrum Hannover at the parking garage roof of the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH) in Germany when in service as "Christoph 4". Eurocopter EC135T2+ D-HBVE replaced at that time the EC135 T2+ air rescue helicopter normaly used "Christoph 4". The RTH facilities at the the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH) in Hannover were opened on 2 October 1972. On that day, operations of "Christoph 4" started in the Hannover area as a test with a MBB Bölkow Bo.105 C in yellow 'Katastrophenschutz' colours. Around 1977, the colours 'Katastrophenschutz' helicopters changed to orange. In 1984, the MBB B0.105CBS in service with "Christoph 4" was replaced by a Dornier-Bell UH-1D medical helicopter of the BMI - Bundesministerium des Inneren, o/b Bundesgrenzschutz Fliegerstaffel Nord. In December 1997, the Dornier-Bell UH-1D was replaced by a MBB Bo.105CBS-5. On 1 July 2005, the Bundesgrenzschutz Fliegerstaffel Nord was renamed Bundespolizeifliegerstaffel Nord. In 2007, the MBB BO.105CBS-5 in service as "Christoph 4" was replaced by Eurocopter EC135 T2+ D-HZSD. As the MBB BO.105CBS-5, the Eurocopter EC135 T2+ "Christoph 4" is flown by the Bundespolizeifliegerstaffel Nord. Call sign "Christoph" is used for the German lifeliner helicopters since 1970 and is derived of Saint Christophorus, the Patron Saint for all travellers.

Eurocopter EC135 T2+ s/n 0152 was original built as an EC135 T1 and registered D-HVBE with Bundesminsterium des Innern o/b Bundesgrenzschutz on 22 February 2001. Early 2002, the aircraft returned to Eurocopter Deutschland for conversion to the Eurocopter EC135 T2 standard. On 9 April 2002, the D-HVBE was registered as an EC135T2. On 1 July 2005, the Bundesgrenzschutz Fliegerstaffel was renamed Bundespolizeifliegerstaffel. In 2010, the helicopter was modified to the EC135 T2+ standard and re-certified on 18 October 2010.

page last updated: 03-02-2018
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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