German emergency medical services operator DRF Luftrettung has ordered two additional H145 helicopters and signed a contract covering its whole fleet with a tailored HDataPower pack from Airbus Helicopters’ Connected Services suite of data services, the companies said this week at the European Rotors conference in Cologne, Germany.

The two H145s add to the existing order book covering 15 H145s and three H135s. Airbus plans to deliver all 20 helicopters to the DRF by the end of 2024; it has delivered 11 of them to the customer, which has already begun replacing older BK117 and EC145 helicopters. 

Airbus Helicopters describes the tailored HDataPower pack as a set of digital services designed to improve flight availability and operational safety while optimizing 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, said Christoph Zammert, executive vice president of Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters. “Flight Analyser, which supports operational safety and wACS, our wireless airborne communication system, are prime examples,”

DRF Luftrettung is one of the largest and most experienced air rescue organizations in Europe. The organization and its subsidiaries fly 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. “Our mission is to continuously improve medical care for people in need, said Achim Vogel, head of central purchasing and logistics at DRF Luftrettung. “To achieve this, DRF Luftrettung operates the most modern helicopters available, now being the largest H145 operator in Europe. With the new Airbus contract, we further enhance our ongoing fleet modernization thus setting the course for the future.”

Airbus unveiled the new version of its H145 light twin-engine helicopter at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta. This latest upgrade adds a new five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. The company says the simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design eases maintenance operations, thereby improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145 while aiding ride comfort for passengers and crew.

More than 1,500 H145 family helicopters operate around the world, logging a total of more than six million flight hours. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 comes equipped with Fadec and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a four-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload.


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