U Michigan Becomes First U.S. EC155 EMS Customer

 - August 28, 2011, 4:45 AM

The University of Michigan Hospital’s Survival Flight program will take delivery of the first EMS-configured Eurocopter EC155 to be placed in U.S. service in October. The medical interior completion is being done by Metro Aviation in Shreveport, La. This is the first of three EC155s expected to join the Survival Flight program. Survival Flight currently operates a trio of Bell 430s and a Cessna Citation Encore managed and supported by Pentastar Aviation. 

Survival Flight transports patients and harvest teams for organ donations. The service flies more than 160,000 miles each year and has flown more than 4 million miles in the past 26 years. Since 1983, Survival Flight has flown more than 30,000 patient transports.

The new helicopters are slated to be housed in a new $11 million, 80,000-sq-ft facility currently under construction in Howell, Mich.

A newcomer to the U.S. helicopter EMS market, the EC155 has been used for medical transport elsewhere for several years, including Europe. The helicopter was first delivered in 1999. It was developed from the AS365N3 Dauphin 2 and it currently serves as the platform for Eurocopter’s experimental X3 compound helicopter. The EC155 features a four-axis autopilot, glass cockpit and five-blade Spheriflex main rotor. Power comes from a pair of 935 shp (each) Fadec-controlled Ariel 2C2 engines. Cruise speed is 151 knots. In EMS configuration, the EC155 can carry two patients and four medical staff.