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Eurocopter EC135
PH-ULP German Army 82+64
D-HZSE Eurocopter EC135 T2+ c/n 0558 - BMI Luftrettung - Luftrettungszentrum Hamburg / Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Hamburg in Germany - 28 March 2008 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) Eurocopter EC135 T2+ D-HZSE of the Bundesminsterium des Innern / Katastrophenschutz was photographed at the helipad of the Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Hamburg in Germany when in service as "Christoph 29". On 16 July 1973, operations of "Christoph 29" started in the Hamburg area as "SAR Hamburg 71", when the Bundeswehrkrankenhaus in Hamburg got a Dornier Bell UH-1D medical helicopter. The UH-1D Iroquois was flown by the Luftwaffe (German Air Force), first by 2.Staffel des Hubschraubertransportgeschwader 64 (HTG64), and later by 2.Staffel des Lufttransportgeschwader 63 (LTG 63). Until 19 January 2006, the military Dornier Bell UH-1D SAR / Notartz helicopter was the standard machine of RTH "SAR Hamburg 71". On 19 January 2006, the military UH-1D was replaced by a Bell 212 of the BMI - Bundesministerium des Inneren, o/b Bundespolizeifliegerstaffel Nord. The call sign "SAR Hamburg 71" changed in that time to "Christoph 29". On 4 July 2007, the Bell 212 was replaced by the new BMI - Bundesministerium des Inneren' Eurocopter EC135 T2+. As the Bell 212, the EC135 T2+ "Christoph 29" 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.

On 31 January 2007, the BMI - Bundesministerium des Inneren (German Ministry of the Interior) took delivery of the first pair of a total of sixteen EC135T2+ air rescue helicopters for the BBK - Bundesamtes für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe. The EC135 T2+ air rescue helicopters replaced the ageing MBB Bo.105 helicopters in service. Eurocopter Germany used test-registration D-HECJ for the 2007-built Eurocopter EC135 T2+ c/n 0558. In August 2007, the EC135 T2+ was registered D-HZSE with BMI - Bundesministerium des Inneren. On 20 August 2007, EC 135 T2+ D-HZSE entered service first as “Christoph 13” at the air rescue station in Bielefeld-Rosenhöhe.

page last updated: 04-02-2018
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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