DRF Luftrettung has signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters to purchase of 15 new H145s, three H135s and the retrofit of its current 20 H145s to the five-bladed version. This will bring the H145 fleet of the German helicopter emergency medical services company to 35 helicopters, making it the biggest operator of the five-bladed H145 in the world. The contract, booked in 2019, also renews DRF's HCare smart contract, a full support parts-by-the-hour contract for DRF's entire fleet for the next eight years.
“Our mission at DRF Luftrettung is to continuously improve medical care for people in need. For this, it is essential for us, and our patients, to operate the most modern helicopters available. This new contract, with the patient at the top of our priorities, launches the last phase of our fleet renewal. The new H145 helps us, thanks to the increased useful load, to improve our services,” says Krystian Pracz, DRF CEO.
“We thank DRF Luftrettung for its continued trust in Airbus Helicopters, our products and our services,” enthuses Thomas Hein, head of Western Europe sales at Airbus Helicopters. “This is a strong signal of our mutual, decade-lasting cooperation. We are proud of this cooperation and that we are able to support DRF Luftrettung, with our helicopters and services, in its critical mission of saving lives 365 days a year.”
DRF Luftrettung is one of the biggest HEMS operators in Europe. The DRF Group operates more than 50 Airbus helicopters at 35 bases throughout Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein for emergency rescue and intensive care transports including rescue winch operations and day and night operations. In 2019, the group carried out a total of 40,738 missions.
The new version of Airbus' best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta in March. This latest upgrade adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew.