Airbus Helicopters Inc. Features Industry-leading Models at AMTC

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ShandsCair EC155 B1 and Vanderbilt EC130 B4 to be exhibited at Booth 523

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One of the most capable and sophisticated helicopters available for the air medical transport industry, ShandsCair Flight Program’s new EC155 B1, will be featured by Airbus Helicopters Inc. (AHI) at the Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC), Sept. 22-24, in Nashville, Tenn.

The recently delivered and placed into service ShandsCair EC155 and the Vanderbilt University LifeFlight EC130 B4 that will be displayed at AMTC highlight Airbus Helicopters broad, industry leading line-up of medical transport helicopters. With its product range of high performance single-engine, light twin-engine and larger, longer range medium twin-engine aircraft, Airbus Helicopters Inc. is the leading U.S. supplier of helicopters for air medical transport.

“Airbus Helicopters Inc. is honored that so many outstanding hospitals and other air medical transport service and emergency medical services (EMS) providers continue to select Airbus Helicopters aircraft for their vital, life-saving missions,” said President and CEO Marc Paganini. “The fact that Airbus Helicopters Inc. has a dominant share of this important segment of the helicopter industry is a source of great pride for all of our employees and never ending motivation to continue producing great helicopters and providing outstanding support and service.”

ShandsCair, the air medical transport arm of UF Health, took delivery of its new EC155 B1 in June and is operating the aircraft out of its University of Florida base in Gainesville, Fla. With a range of more than 300 miles, the EC155 B1 has allowed ShandsCair to expand their coverage area in North Central Florida and Southern Georgia. The large cabin provides plenty of room for equipment and patient care staff.

“We did a thorough evaluation of all the available aircraft on the market and the EC155 is the right choice for our program,” said ShandsCair Flight Program Director Staccie Allen. “We serve a large rural area and the helicopter’s long range will enable the program to transport patients non-stop to and from distant facilities, as opposed to using both a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft. The EC155 fits the bill perfectly.”

The new helicopter is the result of a $12 million investment by UF Health to expand its capacity to serve patients throughout Florida and improve hospital transport times. ShandsCair selected the EC155 and specified the customized interior and medical equipment after extensive consultations with the University of Michigan Health System Survival Flight program, which operates three EC155s. Metro Aviation, of Shreveport, La. performed completions on the University of Michigan and ShandsCair EC155s. Med-Trans Corp., a leading air medical transport operator based in Lewisville, Texas, will operate the EC155 for ShandsCair as well as two EC135s.

The EC155 B1 is the most technologically advanced helicopter in its class. It is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2C2 engines with Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) and offers a significantly larger cabin than previously available. Features include a new technology five-blade Spheriflex main rotor and a Fenestron tail rotor to provide high speed and low noise, a retractable, wheeled undercarriage and state-of-the-art avionics.

The Vanderbilt LifeFlight EC130 B4, delivered in 2012, was the first single-engine aircraft for the Nashville-based program in more than 20 years. It is part of an all Airbus Helicopters fleet that includes three EC145s and two EC135s. “The EC130 B4 was a welcome addition to our fleet,” said Lis Henley, director of Vanderbilt LifeFlight. “It’s a platform that complements our patient care techniques in transport.”

The EC130 B4 is a light single-engine helicopter with a cruising speed of 130 knots (150 mph) and a roomy, modular cabin that enables 360-degree access to the patient. It is equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation, communications and avionics package, including a terrain avoidance warning system and a synthetic vision system. The Fenestron® tail rotor and automatic variable rotor speed control result in significantly reduced noise, making it the quietest helicopter on the market.

For more information on Airbus Helicopters Inc.’s complete line-up of versatile, high performance helicopters for air medical transport missions visit AMTC Booth 523.

About Airbus Helicopters Inc.

Airbus Helicopters Inc. (AHI) is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry’s most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters serving all markets and missions. The company’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.

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Bob Cox