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.
In August 1997, the Bundeswehr
(German Army) ordered 15 EC135s as training helicopters for 95 million DM. Official handover of the first EC 135 was
on 13 September 2000. Heer (German Army) uses the EC 135 as Helicopter Flying Trainer with the HFWS - Heeresflieger
Waffenschule at Buckeburg. The 2001-built EC-135T1 s/n 0117 was registered first with Eurocopter Deutschland test
registration D-HWTK. After the D-HWTK was delivered to the Heeresflieger as 82+64, the EC135 returned to Eurocopter
Deutschland for a conversion. In July 2002, EC135T2 s/n 0117 was temporary registered again D-HWTK for flight tests,
before the helicopter returned to the Bundeswehr Heeresflieger as 82+64. On 4 August 2004, SHS (Schulungshubschrauber)
EC135T1 82+64 of the Heeresflieger Waffenschule (Army Aviation Weapons School) at Buckeburg was seen at Wittmundhafen
Air Base near Wittmund in Germany.