Transferring patients from one care centre to another is a complex operation even in the best of times. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to transfer critical care patients has become a crucial ability that helps swing the balance in what often are life and death situations, freeing up resources for health care systems under stress.
“As the benchmark for HEMS helicopters, the H135 is the safest, most reliable and most economic platform – arriving at the scene on time…every time,” explained Martin Schneider, Airbus Helicopters’ Head of the H135 programme. “There are more than 650 H135s in emergency medical service duties, operated by thousands of pilots and medics who protect and save lives each day.”
As the benchmark for HEMS helicopters, the H135 is the safest, most reliable and most economic platform – arriving at the scene on time…every time.
- Martin Schneider, Airbus Helicopters’ Head of the H135 programme
From the operational point of view, Airbus’ introduction of the Helionix avionics suite – which was exclusively designed for helicopters, and includes a 4-axis autopilot – reduces pilot workload, increases situational awareness and enhances overall flight safety. Helionix also is night-vision ready, further augmenting mission capabilities and safety when the H135 is operated in darkness or in low visibility conditions.
As an environmentally-friendly rotorcraft, the H135 is the most efficient in terms of CO2 emissions, as well as the quietest in its category of helicopters.
As operators seek to improve on-board care, adding more specialised medical equipment, which translates to increased load, the H135 team went to work. The results? The latest H135 version has an increased maximum take-off weight of 90 kg and a useful load increase of up to 225 kg, allowing HEMS operators to explore new possibilities for the care provided during transit.Read more
The daily routine of the Air Operations Coordination (COA) in Rio de Janeiro has been hugely impacted by the crisis. Prior to the outbreak, COA operations usually involved the transport of the governor and his/her close collaborators. With the arrival of the pandemic, the team now supports the State Military Fire Department to carry out inter-hospital transport of Covid-19 patients with their H135 helicopter.Read more
To isolate the patient inside the H135 cabin, the COA uses a stretcher with protective cover which efficiently protects the crew and medical team. The device also reduces the time needed for disinfecting the aircraft between the missions.Read more
Overall, H135s are operated for a wide range of missions by more than 290 customers in 65 countries. In addition to HEMS, this helicopter family is deployed for law enforcement, private and business aviation, offshore windfarm management, and military flight training.