In June of 1996, Airbus Helicopters opened a new chapter in the helicopter aviation industry when the now iconic H135 aircraft entered into service. From its inception, the H135 played a tremendous role in the development and growth of a number of critical applications, including Emergency Medical Services and Law Enforcement. The majority of H135 helicopters manufactured to date have been powered by P&WC’s PW206B engines.
“The H135 was crafted with several applications in mind and it has proven its mettle time and again, especially in EMS applications,” says Irene Makris, Vice President, Marketing, P&WC. “Our PW206B engine and its two variants were designed specifically for the original H135 and the two generations that followed. It is a prime example of how an aircraft OEM and an engine OEM, working in close collaboration, can dovetail their respective technologies to produce an end product that meets the precise demands of its various missions. In our experience, operators provide the best testimony to the excellence of our products and services.”
Ranging in power from 500 shp to over 700 shp, PW200 engines have been produced in 12 models and their versatility has been demonstrated in a wide variety of applications. PW200 engines power aircraft in service with over 650 operators in over 75 countries. More than 4,500 PW200 engines have been produced since the family entered service in the 1990s, accumulating more than 8.5 million flying hours in emergency medical service, utility, law enforcement, business and other operations. The length and breadth of the PW200’s operating experience had led to exceptional levels of reliability for the engine; it is a tremendously valuable asset in the turboshaft space.
H135 customer SkyHealth is a partnership involving Northwell Health, Yale-New Haven Health System and Med-Trans Corporation as the operator. SkyHealth values the levels of service it receives from the P&WC service network.
“When we established SkyHealth 18 months ago to serve Long Island and Connecticut, we chose the H135 helicopter from Airbus Helicopters because it was the gold standard in HEMS,” says Robert Kikel, SkyHealth’s Program Director. “We would only take the H135 if it was equipped with P&WC’s PW206B engines which in our experience operate on a flawless basis. We selected the P&WC engine because of its dispatch reliability, parts availability and overall customer service provided. The fact the engine is very fuel efficient was also a big selling factor as it boosts our operating economics.”
ADAC Luftfahrt Technik GmbH in Germany operates 35 H135 helicopters. The company feels it has succeeded in identifying the perfect aircraft to suit its needs.
“The size, the payload, the endurance, the noise level and the safety features of the H135s are perfectly designed for our needs,” says Thomas Hüetsch, ADAC’s CEO. “Payload is always important. The trick is to find a helicopter with the required payload for the mission. The H135 is perfectly sized for our mission and very cost effective to operate, especially with the PW206B engine. Customer support is one of the great values provided by P&WC. P&WC’s responsiveness, service levels and flexibility are highly appreciated by our technicians and logistics team.”
For California’s REACH Air, the H135 wins the trifecta of price, performance and ease of maintenance.
“We took possession of our first H135 helicopter in 2008 after a thorough review of the options available to us,” says Vicky Spediacci, Vice-President of Aviation Operations, REACH Air Medical Services, based in Santa Rosa, California. “The H135 was selected because it came out on top in terms of price point, performance and ease of maintenance. Today we have a total of 14 H135s in our fleet with another one to be added later this year. We do a lot of pediatric flights so having the payload capability to have two pilots, two medical personnel, a patient and a parent aboard is important.” Adds REACH’s Director of Maintenance Andy Danovaro: “P&WC engines have a long-standing reputation for reliability and the volume of H135s powered by the PW206B engine in North America is testament to that. In addition, the level of customer service P&WC provides can only be described as A+ and the work of P&WC employees is always spot on.”
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