20-Jul-2011 Source: Eurocopter
Eurocopter today delivered the 1,000th EC135 to its new owner. Fifteen years after the first of these helicopters rolled off the production line at the Eurocopter plant in DonauwÃ¶rth, the groupâ€™s President and CEO Lutz Bertling handed the keys of the new aircraft on this landmark occasion to Peter Meyer, the President of ADAC, Germanyâ€™s largest automobile club and one of Eurocopterâ€™s longest-standing major customers.
This latest purchase brings the organizationâ€™s air rescue fleet up to a total of 51 aircraft, including the BK117 and EC145 in addition to the EC135. In total, these aircraft have clocked up no less than 550,000 flight hours to date and saved numerous lives.
Eurocopterâ€™s relationship with its biggest German customer in the air rescue sector extends back over more than 40 years. All the more reason, therefore, to invite high-ranking government representatives such as the Bavarian prime minister Horst Seehofer and Peter Hintze, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, to attend the delivery ceremony for the 1000th EC135. In his welcome speech as host of this important event marking yet another milestone in the companyâ€™s history, Group President and CEO Lutz Bertling made special reference to the significance of the EC135 to Eurocopterâ€™s German manufacturing and development location in Donauwoerth.
Right from the start of the organizationâ€™s air rescue operations, the ADAC placed its confidence exclusively in helicopter technology from Eurocopter and its predecessor MBB, starting with the BO105 over 40 years ago, followed by the BK117, introduced in 1984, and the EC135 in 1996. The EC145, with its higher payload capacity, was the latest in the range of Eurocopter aircraft to join the fleet. When the ADAC air rescue service opted for the EC135 in 1996, it was one of the first operators to fly this type of aircraft, which was later to become the worldâ€™s most popular light twin helicopter, with no less than 220 customers worldwide. The ADAC air rescue service, which has clocked up over 95,000 flight hours with its fleet of meanwhile 32 EC135s, is entirely satisfied with its performance.
â€œThe EC135 has helped us to provide an air rescue service using aircraft that are cleaner, quieter and more cost-efficient. Therefore we are enthusiastic about its technical qualities. Its performance has enabled us to establish a national network of emergency medical service providers that is without parallel in Germany and serves as an example for similar services elsewhereâ€, says ADAC President Peter Meyer, underlining the importance of this helicopter model.
The rescue aircraft that bear the ADACâ€™s yellow livery operate out of more than 34 helicopter stations throughout Germany. Four of them operate in collaboration with neighboring countries, creating one of Europeâ€™s largest air rescue organizations. EMS helicopters such as those operated by the ADAC today form an integral part of any mountain rescue service, giving them the means to rapidly repatriate injured persons from difficult-to-access places, especially in mountainous terrain.
â€œThe delivery of the 1000th EC135 is a special occasion for Eurocopter, which gives us added impetus to continue developing our products in close contact with the customer and contributing to the enhancement of the emergency services network. We have always given special emphasis to ensuring optimum conditions for rescue missions and the assured safety of the air rescue teams,â€ said Dr. Bertling, speaking at the event.