Eurocopter launches EC135 T3 and P3 models at Heli-Expo
Eurocopter has launched the improved-performance, updated EC135 T3/P3 helicopter versions at Heli-Expo 2013, signing Air Methods of the US, Norsk Luftambulanse of Norway, and Italy’s Aiut Alpin Dolomites as launch customers.
Eurocopter’s launch customers have ordered both the P3 and T3 versions: Air Methods is to acquire six EC135 P3 helicopters to be utilized in air medical transport missions; Norsk Luftambulanse signed for six EC135 P3 rotorcraft in the medical evacuation configuration; while Aiut Alpin Dolomites booked one EC135 T3 for its mountain rescue operations.
“Our EC135 T3/P3 represent the latest examples of Eurocopter’s commitment to continually evolve the product line, applying creativity and innovation in delivering optimum performance for operators,” said Eurocopter president & CEO Lutz Bertling. “It’s particularly appropriate that the initial customers announced today will benefit from the helicopters’ superior performance in critical life-saving missions that often are performed in highly demanding conditions.”
Air Methods’ overall existing Eurocopter inventory is composed of more than 330 helicopters, including the EC135, EC130, BK117 and AS350 types.
“We are excited about continuing to improve transport capability and safety for our crews, patients and customers,” said Archie Gray, senior vice president, Air Methods Aviation Services. “The P3 will give us the ability to operate in extreme environments without any compromise to safety, and shows Eurocopter’s commitment to continued product improvements.”
“As an EC135 operator since 2000, we are really looking forward to the performance increase promised for the EC135 P3,” stated Syver Leivestad, the CEO of Norsk Luftambulanse. “It will provide us with increased capability and safety margins – both for mountain rescue and IFR operations.”
“When it came to choosing a new helicopter, we had no doubts in selecting Eurocopter once again, with the EC135 T3 version giving us higher performance, a gain in loading weight, and faster speeds to the rescue area,” explained Raffaël Kostner, the vice president of Aiut Alpin Dolomites. “Our existing EC135 has been excellent, providing exceptional reliability, along with such operational safety aspects as low downwash during hover and landing, high-up main rotor blades and shrouded Fenestron tail rotor, and the ability to touch down on inclined ground landing locations.”