DRF Luftrettung completes first five-blade H145 in-house upgrade

DRF Luftrettung completes first five-blade H145 in-house upgrade

19-Jan-2022 Source: DRF Luftrettung

It’s a premiere: The first machine that DRF Luftrettung technicians independently converted from four to five rotor blades went into service yesterday. In the future, the helicopter will be available as Christoph Nürnberg for urgent transport between clinics and for emergency rescue. The converted machine is lighter than its predecessor and thus offers a higher possible payload with the same performance. In addition, the fifth rotor blade makes it even quieter in the air, which benefits patients and crew. 

He is still red and white, but now he has one more rotor blade – the new Christoph Nürnberg is on the landing pad, ready for his missions. After the conversion and the technical approval in the shipyard at the Operation Center of the DRF Luftrettung, it was put through its paces by workshop pilots. Everything is now ready for his use in the Nuremberg region and throughout Bavaria. Station manager and pilot Willi Pfitzinger is happy and also very excited: “We’ve already heard a lot about how well the machine with a five-blade rotor flies and how calm it is in the air. We are pleased that the time has come here in Nuremberg and that all the advantages of the new model will benefit the people here in the region.” 

Thanks to the good preparation with Airbus, everything went smoothly and we were able to complete the conversion on schedule. Thanks to all employees who made this milestone possible with passion and commitment!
Marc Degelo, Maintenance Manager

With the machine, which will be used in the future as Christoph Nürnberg, DRF Luftrettung has for the first time converted one of the existing operational machines in its own shipyard to the five-rotor blade system and also independently given it the technical approval – as the first Airbus customer worldwide. The process required for this, including all the necessary approvals, had previously been developed in close cooperation with Airbus. During the approximately eight-week conversion, the team of technicians processed a total of 16 work orders, so-called service bulletins. The classic main rotor head has been removed, the rotor mast now ends with a hub to which the blades are attached directly. The now jointless main rotor head leads to improvements in maintenance, oils, greases and bearings are no longer required for operation. The technicians made further adjustments to the tail boom and parts of the electrical wiring, among other things. Marc Degelo, Maintenance Manager, underscores the challenge the team was facing: “Of course it was an exciting premiere, this first autonomous conversion in our shipyard. But thanks to the good preparation with Airbus, everything went smoothly and we were able to complete the conversion on schedule. Thanks to all employees who made this milestone possible with passion and commitment!” But thanks to the good preparation with Airbus, everything went smoothly and we were able to complete the conversion on schedule. Thanks to all employees who made this milestone possible with passion and commitment!” But thanks to the good preparation with Airbus, everything went smoothly and we were able to complete the conversion on schedule. Thanks to all employees who made this milestone possible with passion and commitment!”

Own conversion – pioneer worldwide

The commissioning of the first self-converted H145 with five-blade rotor represents a milestone in air rescue in Germany. DRF Luftrettung made a conscious decision to be the first to use the system as soon as it becomes available. Because it is part of their self-image to constantly advance the further development of air rescue. One goal is always the focus: to further improve patient care in all areas relevant to air rescue – people, medicine and technology. Within the next three years, DRF Luftrettung plans to convert all of its H145 helicopters from four to five rotor blades. In the future, DRF Luftrettung will also be able to offer this conversion to external customers. The first H145 helicopter with a five-blade rotor went into service at the Stuttgart station last March. Since then, the DRF Luftrettung has continuously added more H145s with five-blade rotors to its fleet. Nuremberg is the sixth station that has received a machine of this type so far.

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