Metro Aviation Signs Order for 12 Additional EC145e Helicopters
(Source: Airbus Helicopters; issued Jan 29, 2020)
ANAHEIM --- Metro Aviation has ordered an additional 12 new EC145e helicopters from Airbus, announced today at the Heli Expo trade show in Anaheim, California. This deal brings Metro Aviation’s total number of EC145e helicopters ordered to 43.

Metro Aviation operates air medical helicopters and airplanes for healthcare providers and is a global leader for multi-mission helicopter customizations. Metro was the first customer for the EC145e when Airbus Helicopters launched the simplified, lower weight variant in 2015. In 2019, Airbus Helicopters, Inc. delivered the first EC145e locally produced at its industrial facility in Columbus, Miss. USA, where the remaining EC145e aircraft for Metro will also be produced.

“This new order comes as evidence of the sustained popularity of the EC145e among many air medical providers in the U.S., mainly because of its 200-300lbs payload increase compared to the legacy EC145 C2,” said Mike Stanberry, president at Metro Aviation. “Its simplified configuration, flexible cabin, and the fact that this aircraft is proven, powerful, reliable and affordable explain why demand has been so high.”

The twin-engine EC145e was initially introduced for use with Visual Flight Rules (VFR), and Metro worked with Genesys Aerosystems and S-TEC of Mineral Wells, Texas, to develop a FAA-approved avionics package that includes Supplemental Type Certificates for a Single Pilot/Dual Pilot Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) system; a VFR electronic flight instrument system (EFIS); and autopilot and stability augmentation system enhancements. A Transport Canada certification for the IFR package is pending.

“This new order further strengthens our longstanding relationship with Metro Aviation, who found a particular need within the industry and was able to fulfill those specific mission requirements with the EC145e,” said Romain Trapp, president of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and head of the North America region. “Airbus is pleased to support those offering new solutions in the industry, and we are especially proud to locally produce helicopters used for critical life-saving missions.”

Airbus Helicopters has been present in North America for 50 years and operates out of three main sites, including its Columbus facility where it produces the UH-72A Lakota helicopter - also a derivative of the EC145 - for the U.S. Army. Airbus also locally produces the best-selling H125 helicopter in Columbus, and performs as the bulk of its helicopter completions for the North American market.


Swedish Air Ambulance Service Orders Three New H145 Helicopters
(Source: Airbus Helicopters; issued Jan 29, 2020)
ANAHEIM --– Sweden’s air ambulance service – Svensk Luftambulans – has ordered three new H145 helicopters in a deal announced at the Heli Expo 2020 exhibition.

The operator will also have its existing three earlier model H145s retrofitted to the same standard as the new aircraft including an innovative five-bladed rotor, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg while delivering enhanced levels of comfort, simplicity and connectivity.

The new rotor brings a significant increase in overall performance, with a maximum take-off weight raised to 3,800 kg and a useful load now equivalent to the aircraft’s empty weight. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations and improve ride comfort for patients, medical staff and crew, while the reduced rotor diameter will allow the H145 to operate in more confined areas.

Svensk Luftambulans’ newly acquired H145s will feature the Wireless Airborne Communication System (wACS) to provide secure, two-way, operational and maintenance data communications in- flight as well as on the ground.

The three aircraft are being added as a result of the Swedish counties of Norrbotten and Vasterbotten joining the current four counties – Värmland, Dalarna, Västra Götaland and Uppsala – for their helicopter service provision. Deliveries will take place in 2021 and early 2022.

Svensk Luftambulans CEO Gunnar Blomquist said: “The H145 has served us extremely well until now and the newly upgraded capability is ideal to support the expansion of our service to a wider population.”

Airbus Helicopters Head of Western Europe, Thomas Hein, said: “The new H145’s capabilities bring important advantages to the HEMS community and we’re delighted to see Svensk Luftambulans using it as the basis for their expanded operation.”


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