The Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation (NAAF) has become the EMS launch customer for the latest H145 helicopter. The foundation is the parent company of Norwegian Air Ambulance Services (NOLAS), and its H145 will be used for advanced research and development purposes.
Launched at Heli-Expo, the new version of the H145 features a five-blade rotor, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg while delivering comfort, simplicity and connectivity. The rotor brings a significant increase in overall performance, raising the MTOW to 3,800 kg and making the useful load equivalent to the aircraft's empty weight. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design is expected to ease maintenance operations and improve ride comfort for patients, medical staff and crew, while the reduced rotor diameter will allow the H145 to operate in more confined areas.
NOLAS currently operates seven Airbus H135s and eight H145s from 12 bases throughout Norway as well as four H135s in Denmark. The new aircraft will replace an earlier EC145 additionally operated by the foundation and will be delivered in mid-2020.
NAAF secretary general Hans Morten Lossius says: “We never forget that first and foremost we are here for the patient. So this new H145 providing an even smoother ride is an ideal platform on which to develop new and advanced medical, rescue-technical and flight operational capabilities to save the lives of even more patients in medical emergencies in the future.”
Airbus Helicopters head of western Europe Thomas Hein adds: “We greatly appreciate NAAF's continuing confidence in our aircraft and we believe that its focus on research and development makes it an ideal customer to maximise the advantages of the H145's new capabilities.”