23 July 2022 / SAS Admin
The AW169 will be able to fly farther, faster and carry more gear than EHAAT’s current MD902s. It offers more space for crew and patient and allows medical personnel on board to provide essential patient care.
UK helicopter rescue operator Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) will introduce a second AW169 to its fleet of air ambulances for its UK operations. The supply agreement was signed during the Farnborough International Air Show between the operator and Specialist Aviation Services. The latter will provide dedicated medical interiors and other modifications to the helicopter.
Delivery is expected in the fourth quarter of 2023, with entry into service expected in the first quarter of 2024. The arrival of the second AW169 will allow the operator to achieve its strategic objectives by providing increasingly advanced health services to the communities of Essex and Hertfordshire. The expansion of the fleet comes just five years after the first supply; EHAAT signed the contract for its first AW169 in 2016, with entry into service in 2017.
Leonardo head of helicopter sales for Northern and Eastern Europe Jacopo Borghi says: “The introduction of a second AW169 by EHAAT is further proof that this is the ideal machine for rescue tasks. The AW169 has been designed to meet the growing market demand for a new helicopter of this category capable of guaranteeing high performance, meeting the latest safety standards and, in particular, those of the helicopter rescue sector, providing medical personnel with the ability to intervene on the patient with the first emergency care on board.”
EHAAT aviation and operations director Paul Curtis adds: “Taking into account the financial and operational benefits of purchasing the first AW169, the decision was made to add another helicopter to the fleet in order to replace our MD902s that were originally acquired under leasing and which have now reached 12 years of operational activity. EHAAT can save a lot with the purchase of the second helicopter compared to the cost of leasing, an investment that will be worth several million pounds at the end of its operational life with us. The purchase of the second helicopter was made possible thanks to the constant support of public institutions and private entities in the counties of Essex and Hertfordshire, with the addition of additional funds that we are raising. The AW169 will be able to fly farther, faster and carry more gear than the current MD902s. In addition, the helicopter offers more space for crew and patient and allows medical personnel on board to provide essential patient care, further improving health care services to the people of Essex, Hertfordshire and neighbouring areas. We therefore look forward to its entry into service, which will take place by the spring of 2024.”
“Specialist Aviation Services is proud to partner with EHAAT on the introduction of its second AW169,” says CEO Luke Farajallah. “Upon arrival, the helicopter will be equipped with the latest custom interiors for medical services and, upon entry into service, will replace the current MD902 in order to standardise fleet and operational capabilities. There is no doubt that the AW169 is the best helicopter for helicopter rescue, and we are pleased to support EHAAT in its evolutionary path.”
The AW169 offers maximum levels of safety on the ground thanks to the height of the rotors and the APU (auxiliary power unit) mode which makes it possible to operate the environmental control system, radios and medical devices even with the rotors stopped. Large sliding doors allow for easy patient access. The AW169 in air ambulance configuration can be quickly reconfigured and has been designed to meet the patient’s needs, allowing medical staff to move freely and provide the best care. The AW169 has strengthened Leonardo’s presence in the EMS market in the UK, with 11 units already in operation in the country.
More performance and new equipment/kits for all operational roles have recently been introduced on the AW169. The avionics software update (Phase 7) and performance enhancement packages, certified in December 2021, give the AW169 further performance in all conditions and for all applications, making it the helicopter with the best power-to-weight ratio in the world. his class for any kind of mission.
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