GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (Oct. 18, 2012) -- American Eurocopter, the nation’s leading provider of helicopters for the U.S. air medical service industry, today announced it will be showcasing the University of Michigan Health System Survival Flight’s EC155 and the Air Methods Corporation’s EC130 B4 at this year’s Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC) October 22-24 in Seattle.
The featured EC130 B4 is a part of the Air Methods Corporation Community Based Services division and is affiliated with the AirLife program at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. It was completed by United Rotorcraft Services an Air Methods Division. The customized completion makes best use of the EC130’s voluminous cabin, easy loading, and wide, side door opening for loading patients and special equipment.
This year, Survival Flight switched from a competitor’s product, replacing the previous fleet with three American Eurocopter EC155 B1s – the first EC155 helicopters in the United States to be configured for air medical service. The EC155 was chosen as a result of its long-range capability, payload, speed, high reliability, low maintenance, ride quality and economic efficiency.
“The Eurocopter 155 has exceeded the expectations of the University of Michigan Survival Flight program, “ said Survival Flight Critical Care Manager Denise Landis. “The ability to care for our very complex patient population combined with the speed of the aircraft have added to the efficiencies of our program. Having the cabin space and power of the EC155 aircraft to take additional care providers is great.”
In a typical year, Survival Flight makes between 1,000 and 1,500 trips, transporting 800 to 1,000 patients via helicopter. Survival Flight likewise delivers numerous vital organs including hearts, lungs and kidneys to waiting recipients with its fixed-wing aircraft.
“The fuel capacity and range of the EC155 gives the University of Michigan organ procurement team an advantage by now being able to fly directly to a hospital, saving valuable time,” said Landis.
“Survival Flight could have chosen any manufacturer and any helicopter. We are pleased and proud to be the provider they selected for their specialty transports and demanding environment,” said American Eurocopter President and CEO Marc Paganini. “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership.”
The University of Michigan EC155 helicopters are equipped with advanced equipment and safety features, including the ability to fly in low-visibility conditions. They have nearly 50 percent more cabin space for nurses and patients, an all-glass cockpit and a flying range of nearly 500 miles. Their five-blade main rotors and shrouded Fenestron tail rotors reduce vibration and noise, providing a smooth ride at high speeds. A much shorter warm-up time shaves critical minutes from both ends of flights, as does a faster cruising speed.
The Survival Flight EC155s were retrofitted by Metro Aviation at their facilities in Shreveport, Louisiana, and placed into service in June of this year. The aircraft are now based at Ann Arbor Airport and flown and maintained by 11 pilots and six mechanics who work for the university’s aviation partner, Penstar Aviation.
For more information on the EC155, EC130 and other industry leading helicopters, stop by American Eurocopter’s AMTC booth #619.
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. Company headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS.