Airbus Helicopters has delivered its 1,400th H135 light twin, with the milestone helicopter going to French HEMS operator Mont Blanc. This adds to the company’s fleet of more than 20 H135s and H145s.
The H135 currently holds 25 percent of the global HEMS market, with more than 650 units in service. Overall, H135s are operated by some 290 customers in 65 countries. In addition to HEMS, the helicopter family is deployed for law enforcement, private and business aviation, offshore windfarm management, and military flight training.
Since first entering into service in 1996, the H135 family has received regular upgrades. The latest H135 version has a 200-pound increased mtow and a useful load increase of up to 500 pounds. Other improvements have focused on the airframe, engine, cockpit, mission equipment, and maintenance and reliability with the aid of regular input from HEMS operators via conferences, interviews, questionnaires, and reliability data. New-production helicopters are equipped with the Airbus Helionix avionics suite which includes a four-axis autopilot and is night-vision ready.
Airbus charitably supports the work of the international HEMS community via Airbus Foundation sponsorship of medical professionals. In 2019, the foundation and French Academy of Medicine Foundation trained nearly 215 doctors and rescue personnel in India, China, and Indonesia. More than 1,100 professionals from around the world have benefited from this initiative.