Flashy red it is and on 9 December 2014 it could call itself the world’s newest light-weight twin-engine mountain rescue helicopter. The new Airbus Helicopters EC135 T3/P3 belongs to Aiut Alpin Dolomites – a northern Italy-based voluntary mountain rescue association performing some 700 air rescue operations annually.
The chopper has increased power reserves, an improved flight envelope especially in hot-and-high environments and an increased maximum takeoff weight of 2,980 kg (6569 lbs). It either comes with the Turbomeca’s Arrius 2B2 “Plus” engine (EC135 T3) or with the Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PWC 206B3 (EC135 P3).
Aiut Alpin Dolomites already operated an EC135 T2, which is deployed on the steep slopes and ski areas of the Dolomite mountains. Aiut Alpin Dolomites is also called upon to provide emergency and medical services at special events such as auto racing.
Enhancements to the EC135 T3/P3 range from an enlarged main rotor and modernization of the FADEC full-authority digital flight control software to a cockpit with fully integrated avionics for navigation and communications. Among the most visible changes are the elimination of horizontal stabilizer endplates utilized on other EC135 versions, the integration of lateral engine air intakes and the use of a new mini tail bumper.
Aiut Alpin Dolomites’ EC135 T3 also is equipped with Airbus Helicopters’ new optional multifunctional floor, which is specifically tailored for emergency medical services (EMS) missions and replaces the need for a second floor – thereby saving weight.
Airbus Helicopters has delivered nearly 1,200 EC135s to customers around the globe, which have logged more than 3 million flight hours. One-quarter of this total fleet is deployed for EMS duties.
Source: Airbus Helicopters