DRF Luftrettung has made a good start in the opening two months of operating the first H145 helicopter with a five-blade rotor in Germany, from its HEMS base in Stuttgart. It is the first of a total of five helicopters of the type H145 with a five-bladed rotor, which DRF will deploy during this year. “The five-bladed rotor system means that we can help patients in need even better and make a sustainable contribution towards fulfilling our responsibilities,” says CEO Krystian Pracz. Thanks to the new system, the H145 is lighter and offers greater performance. Thus, crews can take up to 150 kgs more useful load onboard. Overall, the increased performance expands possibilities, and leads to greater safety during missions.
In March 2021, DRF Luftrettung also became the first Airbus customer worldwide to jointly carry out retrofitting of an existing aircraft. “After leading the introduction of the H145 in 2015, we are proud to once again be the first customer of Airbus,” adds Pracz. DRF Luftrettung plans to retrofit all of its existing H145 helicopters from four to five rotor blades within the next three years. In future, the operator can also offer such retrofitting to external customers if spare capacity is available.
The DRF Group, headquartered in Filderstadt, is one of the largest air rescue organisations in Europe. In 2020, the group carried out a total of 39,971 missions. The crews at 14 of the 35 HEMS bases in Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein are on standby 24/7, and eight HEMS bases provide helicopters with rescue winches.