American Eurocopter’s EC135 is the market leader for light twin-engine helicopters in the air medical transport industry with more than 200 now in service and the number continues to climb.
“Over the last 10 years, the EC135 has accounted for more than 80 percent of the light twin-engine helicopters delivered to the U.S. air medical industry,” said Marc Paganini, American Eurocopter President and Chief Executive. “The continued support we see from operators across the country just reinforces what we already know: the EC135 has become the standard for twin-engine helicopters for the U.S. air medical industry.”
The EC135’s high endurance, extended range and outstanding maneuverability enable it to perform a full range of mission requirements, while carrying a larger payload over longer distances than any aircraft in its class. With its shrouded Fenestron tail rotor system, the EC135 is extremely quiet, making it popular with operators that regularly fly over densely populated areas. Operators cite reliability, versatility and cost effectives as factors in choosing the EC135.
California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR), located in McClellan, Calif., recently placed a new EC135 into service. Metro Aviation is completing another EC135 scheduled to enter service with CALSTAR in December. The two aircraft are the fifth and sixth of an eight-aircraft CALSTAR purchase made in August 2012. The EC135s are replacing older, non-Eurocopter aircraft, as CALSTAR transitions into an all-Eurocopter operation.
“We undertook a very stringent review of what aircraft we needed to standardize and modernize the fleet and the EC135 came out on top,” said Lynn Malmstrom, President and Chief Executive of CALSTAR. “Range, speed, ease of configuration and reliability were all factors in choosing the EC135. It is a well-known and fully supported aircraft in the air medical industry and a detailed analysis showed it best fit our profile.”
CALSTAR operates under its own certificate with nine full-time bases in northern and central California. It is the largest nonprofit air ambulance provider on the West Coast with a diverse fleet. Since its inception in 1984, CALSTAR has safely completed more than 51,000 transports with no injuries to patients or crewmembers.
The ShandsCair Flight Program, the critical care transport system of the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital (UF Health Shands Hospital) in Gainesville, placed a new EC135 into service earlier this year. The new aircraft is based in Perry, northwest of Gainesville providing air medical service in North Florida, including the Florida panhandle and South Georgia. Operated through a partnership with Med-Trans, it is the third EC135 now in service with ShandsCair.
ShandsCair also purchased an EC155 B1 in 2012, which is scheduled for delivery in November. The new aircraft will be competed by Metro Aviation and is slated to begin service in April 2014. The EC155 will be owned by Shands Hospital and based in Gainesville, replacing an EC135 aircraft.
“The American Eurocopter EC135 is incredibly serviceable for our program and the needs of our patients,” said ShandsCair Chief Operating Officer Ed Jimenez. “It remains the primary aircraft used by ShandsCair and we are extremely pleased with its performance.
“As we addressed the growing needs of our program, we made the decision to also purchase an EC155. In addition to being more spacious and technologically advanced, ShandsCair will be able to service the entire state without stopping for additional fuel.”
Providing care for nearly 50,000 patients since December 1981, ShandsCair aircraft operate from Gainesville, Summerfield and Perry. ShandsCair also provides service via ground transport as well as national and international service via fixed-wing aircraft.
Midwest Medical Transport Co. of Columbus, Neb. recently purchased an EC135 P2e helicopter. The new aircraft is slated to enter service with Midwest MedAir in October and will be based in Columbus.
“The EC135 P2e will give us great flexibility and expanded range of service,” said Kim Wolfe, owner of Midwest MedAir/Midwest Medical Transportation. “The exceptional range of our existing EC135 P2+ allows us to reach hospitals based in Colorado from our North Platte location. Our patients depend on us for the safest possible transportation, so we continue to depend on American Eurocopter.“
As Nebraska’s largest EMS transport company, Midwest Medical serves all of Nebraska and western Iowa.
“American Eurocopter is proud to support air medical service providers like CALSTAR, ShandsCair and Midwest Medical in providing the highest quality of care to their patients,” said Paganini. “Their continued selection of the EC135 highlights the strength of this platform and the trust that top organizations place in our aircraft and our company.”
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin aircraft, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.
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