By Naomi Szeben
SAF Group will be operating three more five-bladed H145s for emergency medical services (EMS) in France.
These three aircraft will be based in Grenoble, Valence, and Montpellier to complement the three H145s already ordered and will be deployed for EMS missions in Belgium.
SAF CEO Tristan Serretta stated in a press release: “Introducing six new H145s in France and Belgium in just twelve months is in line with our strategy to increase the capacity of the growing number of EMS services that place their trust in us. This increase of our positioning is made possible by the level of performance and the versatility of this successful helicopter. SAF is determined to help demonstrate, together with the heads of emergency services, that having the right performance and at the right cost is key to saving lives”.
SAF already operates 55 Airbus helicopters. SAF’s fleet includes a Super Puma, H135s and H125s. The H145 will bring increased capabilities for the EMS missions. The new version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta in March. This latest upgrade adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg.
The new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew. The helicopter’s high-mounted tail boom and wide opening clam-shell doors facilitate access to the H145’s spacious cabin.
Today, Airbus has more than 1,470 H145 Family helicopters in service around the world, logging a total of more than six million flight hours. For EMS alone, there are more than 470 helicopters of the H145 family conducting air rescue missions worldwide.