Germany-based helicopter emergency medical services operator DRF Luftrettung has ordered two additional H145 helicopters and signed a contract covering the whole fleet with a tailored HDataPower pack from Airbus Helicopters' Connected Services suite of data services.
“Our mission is to continuously improve medical care for people in need. To achieve this, DRF Luftrettung operates the most modern helicopters available, now being the largest H145 operator in Europe," says DRF head of central purchasing and logistics Achim Vogel. "With the new Airbus contract we further enhance our ongoing fleet modernisation, thus setting the course for the future.”
The two H145s are in addition to the current fleet of 15 H145s and three H135s already ordered in 2020. All 20 helicopters will have been delivered to the customer by the end of 2024; 11 of them have already arrived with the customer, who has begun replacing older BK117 and EC145 helicopters.
The tailored HDataPower pack is a set of digital services designed to improve flight availability and operational safety while optimising costs and sustaining the asset's value. “By leveraging the data generated from helicopter systems, Connected Services provide in-depth analysis of flight, maintenance and logistics operations and set the stage for improvement actions and time savings. Flight Analyser, which supports operational safety and wACS, our wireless airborne communication system, are prime examples,” says executive vice president of customer support and services Christoph Zammert. “We're honoured to help boost DRF Luftrettung's operations, allowing it to carry out its important daily missions.”
RF Luftrettung is one of the largest and most experienced air rescue organisations in Europe. The organisation and its subsidiaries operate more than 50 Airbus helicopters at 37 bases throughout Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland for emergency rescue and intensive care transports including special mission profiles such as hoist operations and day and night operations.
The new version of Airbus' best-selling H145 light twin engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta. 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 also eases maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew.
In total, there are more than 1,500 H145 family helicopters in service, logging a total of more than six million flight hours. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance four-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.