Airbus Helicopters has signed a framework contract for up to six H135s equipped with the Helionix cockpit with the Netherlands' sole provider of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS).
The first batch of three aircraft will be delivered to the Royal Dutch Touring Club ANWB in 2019 and 2020, Airbus said Oct. 16 at the Helitech International conference in Amsterdam.
“The people in the Netherlands rely on the HEMS services we provide in cooperation with four university hospitals, and we are confident that the H135 is the best helicopter available for our missions,” said Petra van Saaze, Director of ANWB medical air assistance. “Helionix will especially help us to enhance our 24/7 operations.”
ANWB Medical Air Assistance is 100% owned by Royal Dutch Touring Club and is the sole HEMS operator in the Netherlands, performing more than 8,500 missions per year, for which it is operating six helicopters of the H135 family. ANWB is a Dutch acronym for the country's roadside assistance organization, similar to AAA in the U.S.
“We thank ANWB for their continued trust in Airbus Helicopters and particularly in the H135," said Thomas Hein, head of sales for Western Europe at Airbus Helicopters. “The H135 is a proven but modern reference in air rescue all around the world.”
With its helicopters, ANWB serves four trauma centers in the Netherlands, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It is renewing the fleet to the latest technical standards with the new H135s. The organization already operates two H145 helicopters, which carry out more than 600 air ambulance missions per year for the Dutch Wadden Isles in cooperation with the local ambulance service provider.
The H135 is a popular helicopter for HEMS operators worldwide and combines a wide, unobstructed cabin with high performance, range and payload capacity while keeping operational noise low.
It features oversized sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors that enable fast loading/unloading of patients, with additional safety during ground operations provided by Airbus’ signature shrouded Fenestron tail rotor.
On top of a four-axis autopilot, Helionix offers an innovative cockpit layout that increases pilot situational awareness. Designed with three large electronic displays on the H135, the cockpit is night-vision-goggle-compatible and includes a first limit indicator that highlights the appropriate engine instrument data for the pilot in one indicator.
To date, more than 1,270 helicopters of the H135 family are in operation around the globe with close to 5 million flight hours.