The Swiss Air-Rescue Service Rega has ordered a second batch of 12 five-bladed H145 helicopters to be operated from its mountain bases. They will replace the current fleet of AW109SP helicopters. This new order follows an initial contract for nine H145s, announced in March this year. By 2026, Rega will operate an all-Airbus fleet consisting of 21 five-bladed H145s.
“To effectively operate life-saving air rescue services in Switzerland, we understand that the ability to perform optimally at altitude is paramount,” says Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “The five-bladed H145 landed on the Aconcagua in Chile, a mountain that is nearly 7,000 metres high – no other twin-engine helicopter has ever achieved this feat. That is why we are especially proud that Rega has put its faith in the five-bladed H145 and decided to make it the only helicopter type in its fleet to perform such critical missions.”
“By selecting the five-bladed H145, we are ensuring that Rega will continue being able to provide its patients with reliable and professional medical assistance by air for the next 15 years,” says Ernst Kohler, CEO of Rega.
The five-bladed H145s will come equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system, specially tailored to the operator’s needs that will enhance the mission capabilities and the safety of operations. The system will use new capabilities of the Flight Management System GTN750 Xi by Garmin. It will integrate and control a multi-sensor system that provides highly accurate and reliable navigation capacities. Even in the event of GPS signal loss, the helicopter will navigate safely thanks to Thales’ inertial navigation system. This solution will further boost the navigation performance in low IFR conditions and allows the helicopter to be certified as navigation procedure RNP-AR 0.1, which is the most accurate navigation procedure in the helicopter environment. The configuration also includes a new hoist by Vincorion that is being certified on the five-bladed H145, ensuring highest safety standards.
Rega operates 14 HEMS stations in Switzerland. Last year, the helicopter crews carried out 14,330 missions, including transporting 471 COVID patients.
The new version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission aircraft, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150kg. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design also eases maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew.
In total, there are more than 1,600 H145 family helicopters in service, logging a total of more than seven million flight hours. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high-performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class, while its CO2 emissions are the lowest amongst its competitors.