German air rescue organisation DRF Luftrettung has signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters to take delivery of three H145 helicopters in 2019. The arrivals will expand DRF's H145 fleet to 17, cementing its place as one of the largest operators of the model worldwide.
“The performance of the H145, especially the added value which Helionix brings to our operation, helps us to fulfil our mission every day, saving the lives of severely injured or ill patients,” comments CEO Krystian Pracz.
“We thank DRF Luftrettung for its continued trust in Airbus Helicopters," adds Airbus head of sales for western Europe Thomas Hein. “After being the launch customer of the H145 in 2014, this is a strong signal of our mutual cooperation.”
DRF operates more than 50 Airbus helicopters at 31 bases throughout Germany and Austria for emergency rescue and intensive care transportation, including rescue winch operations. Having started night time missions more than 20 years ago and operating nine 24/7 sites, set to increase to 10 next year, it has significant experience of night HEMS. In addition, its fixed wing ambulance Learjets repatriate patients who have been involved in an accident or fallen seriously ill while abroad, flying them back to a hospital in their respective home countries.
More than 200 H145s have been delivered since entry into service in 2015, clocking up at least 110,000 flight hours. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with FADEC and the Helionix digital avionics suite, which includes four-axis autopilot. It is designed to be one of the quietest helicopters in its class.