American Eurocopter, the leading provider of helicopters to the U.S. air medical transport industry, today announced that ShandsCair, the air medical and critical care transport system for Shands at the University of Florida, has purchased an EC155 B1.
With a range of more than 300 miles, the EC155 B1 will expand ShandsCair coverage area in North Central Florida and Southern Georgia. Additionally, the large cabin will provide enough room to allow an increased level of patient care. The aircraft, the first EC155 B1 in the ShandsCair fleet, will be based in Gainesville, Florida, along with the program’s existing EC135.
The EC155 B1 is the newest of the American Eurocopter EC155 cabin class aircraft. Its smooth flight characteristics and large cabin will enable the ShandsCair staff to provide a wide range of high quality patient services during flight. The aircraft is being completed at Metro Aviation and is expected to be in service December of 2013.
“We made the decision to purchase the EC155 as we addressed long term range and long term safety of the aircraft,” said ShandsCair COO Ed Jimenez. In addition to being more spacious and technologically advanced, ShandsCair will be able to service the entire state without stopping for additional fuel.
Having provided care for nearly 45,000 patients since December 1981, the ShandsCair team strives to deliver excellence in patient care during transport, using specialized teams, vehicles and equipment in a safe, cost-effective manner with the goal of improving patient outcome. The ShandsCair aircraft operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a helicopter based in Gainesville and just south of Ocala, Florida, typically transporting patients from prehospital scenes within a 75-mile radius. Community hospital emergency rooms and ICU’s up to a 185-mile radius are also serviced by helicopter.
“We are pleased to once again provide our products and services to ShandsCair,” said American Eurocopter Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing, Treg Manning. We are proud to enhance their capabilities with the large cabin, excellent speed, and long-range that the EC155 B1 provides.”
As the most technologically advanced helicopter in its class, the EC155 B1 offers a significantly larger cabin than previously available and includes a new technology five-blade Spheriflex main rotor and an even quieter Fenestron tail rotor to provide the benefits of high speed and low noise, with state-of-the-art avionics reducing pilot workload and ensuring ease of maintenance. The EC155 is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2C2 engines with Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC). The high-set main rotor and shrouded Fenestron contribute to ground handling safety while the wheeled retractable undercarriage also ensures freedom to taxi on the most congested ramp.
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