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Eurocopter EC135
Agusta-Bell 47J Ranger
OE-XEA Airbus Helicopters EC135 T1 c/n 0025 - Christophorus Flugrettungsverein - Innsbruck Airport in Austria - 1 June 2005 AB.206B3 OE-BXB

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.

NAH (Notarzthubschrauber) EC135 T1 OE-XEA "Christophorus 1" of the ÖAMTC Christophorus Flugrettungsverein was photographed at the helipad of the Heliair location at Innsbruck Airport in Austria that was opened on 22 May 2005. The "Christophorus 1" is based at Innsbruck Airport Kranebitten since 1 July 1983. The callsign "Christophorus" is used for the Austrian lifeliner helicopters since 1983 and is derived of Saint Christophorus, the Patron Saint for all travellers. This in 1997 built EC-135T1 was registered first D-HECK with Eurocopter Germany for test flying. On 26 August 1997, the D-HECK was delivered to Helicopter Air Transport GesmbH (heliair) and re-registered OE-XEA in August 1997. The OE-XEA was the first EC135 for Christophorus Flugrettungsverein and entered service at Innsbruck as "Christophorus 1" on 5 September 1997. The OE-XEA was registered with the Christophorus Flugrettungsverein in October 1997. After the EC135 was re-registered D-HECN in late 1997 it was registered OE-XEA again with the Christophorus Flugrettungsverein, Wien, in January 1998. In October 2007, the OE-XEA was registered with Helkopter Air Transport, Innsbruck. In January 2011, the OE-XEA was registered with Helkopter Air Transport Gesellschaft mbH, Wien.

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

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