New features for these latest variants of Eurocopter’s EC135 light, multipurpose twin-engine rotorcraft include significantly improved hot/high performance, increased maximum takeoff weight, improved flight envelope, extended range, cockpit innovations and enhanced interior versatility. The T3/P3 designations signify availability of two upgraded engine options on the helicopters: Turbomeca’s Arrius 2B2 “Plus” for the EC135 T3; and Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PWC 206B3 for the EC135 P3.
This latest version of the proven EC135 has already secured orders from around the world in Norway, Italy and the United States. Eurocopter’s launch customers have ordered both the P3 and T3 versions: Air Methods (USA) is to acquire six EC135 P3 helicopters to be utilized in air medical transport missions; Norsk Luftambulanse (Norway) signed for six EC135 P3 rotorcraft in the medical evacuation configuration; while Aiut Alpin Dolomites (Italy) booked one EC135 T3 for its mountain rescue operations.
Air Methods’ EC135 P3 contract represents a conversion of six previously-ordered EC135 P2e versions. This U.S. air medical transport service producer’s overall existing Eurocopter inventory is composed of more than 330 helicopters, including the EC135, EC130, BK117 and AS350s types.
Norsk Luftambulanse’s EC135 P3 rotorcraft will be used in this Norway-based company’s emergency medical services. It also ordered one EC145 T2 today, further expanding its Eurocopter-built fleet that currently consists of one EC135 C2 and 11 EC135 P2 helicopters.
The EC135 T3 booked by Italy’s Aiut Alpin Dolomites is to be delivered in 2014, succeeding its current EC135 T2i – which will have achieved 10 years of heavy-duty service in the rugged Dolomites mountain range next year.