|Eurocopter’s EC145T2 takes to the skies with a BK117 during a recent customer demonstration of the helicopter variant from its facility in Grand Prairie, Texas. Eurocopter|
Eurocopter has received a large fleet order from a longtime operator, as DRF Luftrettung has agreed to purchase 25 EC145T2s. The German air rescue organization plans to replace a fleet of BK117s with the T2s, starting by phasing in five new helicopters from December 2013 until the end of 2015. The other 20 helicopters are scheduled from delivery through 2022. The nearly €200-million (approximately $270-million) purchase will make DRF Luftrettung the biggest single EC145T2 operator to date. Eurocopter introduced the T2 variant during Heli-Expo in March 2011. DRF Luftrettung operates from 31 helicopter stations in Germany, Austria and Denmark.
The DRF order comes shortly after American Eurocopter held an Oct. 25 event at its facility in Grand Prairie, Texas to give operators a close-up look at the Tango 2. The variant features a number of performance enhancements over the EC145 and recently completed hot and high testing, with FAA certification on track for 2013.