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DRF charts H145 future with five blades
From the end of next year, DRF Luftrettung will gradually upgrade its entire H145 fleet with the new five-blade rotor system. The rotor increases the useful load by 150kg and reduces maintenance strain.
Chairman of the executive board at DRF Luftrettung Dr Krystian Pracz and Dr Wolfgang Schoder, CEO Airbus Helicopters Deutschland.
Read this story in our December 2019 printed issue.

DRF Luftrettung is to modify its H145 helicopters from four to five rotor blades. As soon as the approval procedure at Airbus Helicopters has been completed, the SB retrofit kits will be delivered to the German air rescue operator and work is expected to start late in 2020. In addition to DRF Luftrettung's patients, third-party customers will also benefit from this new feature as the technical service centre of DRF Luftrettung will offer the retrofitting to external customers.

The five-bladed main rotor designed by Airbus Helicopters for the H145 helicopter will be a new addition to DRF Luftrettung's red-and-white fleet. From the end of next year, the air rescue organisation will gradually upgrade its entire H145 fleet with the new rotor system, which increases the useful load by 150kg. Other advantages include enhanced flight comfort as well as a lower maintenance effort.

“The planned retrofit in our technical service centre means that external customers and our air rescue patients will soon be able to reap the benefits of this technical progress,” says chairman of DRF's executive board Dr Krystian Pracz. “Every additional kilogram can be crucial, especially in missions at high altitudes, for example in the Alps, or with specialised medical equipment.”

DRF Luftrettung technicians will receive full training on the new feature and will subsequently be able to offer third party customers this retrofitting service for the H145. European certification of the improved H145 is expected in mid-2020.

The planned upgrades to the H145 retrofit were announced recently in Donauwörth. This announcement was combined with the delivery of two new machines based on the existing framework contract: one H135 helicopter with Helionix and one H145 helicopter.

“In the next few years, we intend to adjust our entire fleet to two models. Afterwards our air rescuers will fly with the H135 and H145 models. In addition to the use of state-of-the-art helicopters to save lives, this also means greater efficiency for our fleet maintenance and the training of our personnel,” Pracz explains.

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