Rescue organization DRF Luftrettung of Germany ordered 25 Eurocopter EC145 T2 light twins in November, thus becoming the largest customer for the new type. The contract is valued at €200 million ($270 million).
The aircraft will replace the DRF Luftrettung’s BK-117s. The first five red and white EC145 T2s will be delivered between December 2013 and late 2015. The remaining 20 helicopters are to be handed over in phases throughout 2022.
The DRF Luftrettung, headquartered in Filderstadt, has 31 helicopter stations in Germany, Austria and Denmark. Eight of the stations provide 24-hour service. The helicopters are used for emergency rescue and carrying intensive-care patients between hospitals. The crews consist of pilots, emergency physicians and rescue assistants. In 2010, the non-profit organization flew 36,900 missions.
According to Dr. Hans Jörg Eyrich, member of the DRF Luftrettung’s board, the EC 145 T2’s shrouded tail rotor provides “a further measure of safety, particularly in night missions.” Among other features, the improved EC145 version has a four-axis autopilot and fadec-controled engines. The DRF already operates several types of Eurocopter helicopters, including EC135s and EC145s.