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News > The best get even better: American Eurocopter’s EMS industry-leading EC135 & EC145 helicopters benefit from continuous product development

The best get even better: American Eurocopter’s EMS industry-leading EC135 & EC145 helicopters benefit from continuous product development

October 11, 2010

Grand Prairie, Texas – American Eurocopter’s commitment to continuous product development for its EC135 and EC145 will ensure these rotary-wing aircraft remain the helicopters of choice for the U.S. emergency medical services (EMS) industry.

The EC135 is the leader in its twin-engine category and a preferred product for helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) operations in North America, accounting for 60 percent of U.S. EMS twin helicopter deliveries since its introduction.  Worldwide, more than 850 of these rotary-wing aircraft already have been delivered to customers.

With more than 350 EC145s in use across the U.S. and around the globe, this helicopter proves its capabilities in daily EMS service with missions that include U.S. Army MEDEVAC duties using the UH-72A Lakota version.

American Eurocopter’s product enhancements include a family approach to the forthcoming introduction of the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) precision helicopter instrument approaches on both the EC135 and EC145.  This is in line with the company’s common cockpit philosophy, utilizing the Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD), and provides a common solution that will be to the advantage of multi-fleet operators with both the EC135 and EC145.

American Eurocopter’s parent company, Eurocopter, has extensive and unique experience with WAAS-type landing approaches, having been flying 6-deg. and 9-deg. precision HEMS-type approaches since 2007 using the LPV (localizer performance with vertical guidance) procedure with the equivalent European EGNOS navigation system.  Eurocopter has applied this operational experience to its development of the family-approach to the WAAS solution for U.S. customers, who will continue to benefit from Eurocopter’s development of enhanced instrument flight solutions.

Another enhancement for the EC135 and EC145 is the availability of high-efficiency inlet barrier filters that protect the engines from sand, dust and potential causes of foreign objective damage (FOD). These filters help maximize the helicopters’ performance while minimizing downtime.

American Eurocopter’s focus on providing the best training for its customers is reflected by the investment in a full-motion flight training device at the company’s Grand Prairie, Texas headquarters.  This is a full-motion system with six degrees of freedom, offering day, night, IFR and night vision goggle capabilities.  With a visual system field-of-view of 170 degrees horizontal and 80 degrees vertical, the flight training device provides customers with a safe and effective way to achieve a variety of training – including advanced mission-based training scenarios.

The EC135 is well suited for the most demanding emergency medical airlift missions, carrying a superior useful load compared to its larger, less fuel-efficient competitors.  It also has best-in-class acquisition and direct operating costs.  The EC135’s Fenestron shrouded tail rotor and easily-accessible rear clamshell doors facilitate the loading/unloading of patents, while the combination of Fenestron and variable-speed rotor result in a quiet internal and external noise signature.  A choice of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B2 and Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 powerplants is available on the EC135, and the helicopter is offered a selection of low-, mid- or high-skid landing gear.

The EC145 has the most cabin volume, cabin area useful load and range in its category, and its excellent performance capabilities were highlighted by hot-and-high altitude flights in Arizona at the peak of summer 2010, operating at 10,000 ft. with full EMS mission load.  This aircraft’s high-mounted tail rotor and easily-accessible rear clamshell doors enable the rapid handling of patents, even with the rotor blades turning. 

About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer that produces, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer in the United States. The company is a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services, and is an affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world. American Eurocopter’s product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. Company headquarters and main facilities are located in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS, that produces the UH-72A for the U.S. Army’s Light Utility Helicopter program.

For more information on American Eurocopter’s presence at AMTC 2010, see the related coverage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

View the Press release archive.

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