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Encyclopedia - Airbus H135 / Eurocopter EC135

The EC135 as the BO 108 by MBB of Germany in the mid-eighties. A technology demonstrator (\\\'V1\\\') flew for the first time on 17 October 1988, powered by two Allison 250-C20R/1 engines. A second BO 108 (\\\'V2\\\') followed on 5 June 1991, this time with two Turboméca TM319-1B Arrius engines. Both these machines had a conventional tail rotor.

In late 1992 the design was revised with the introduction of the Fenestron tail rotor system. This coincided with the creation of Eurocopter that year through the merger of Messerschmitt-Blkow-Blohm (MBB) and Aérospatiale. The combination of lower accident potential from the enclosed rotor, and interior space, have made the EC135 popular with aeromedical helicopter operators. The EC135 is the best selling light twin of the past 10 years.

Two pre-production prototypes were built. They flew on 15 February and 16 April 1994, testing the Arrius 2B and Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B engines, the older and less powerful Allison Model 250 powerplant having been rejected. A third helicopter followed on 28 November 1994.

Single-pilot IFR (SPIFR) certification was granted by the German LBA on 2 December 1999. Deliveries to the German Aviators Corps began on 13 September 2000 at the German Army Aviators School at Bckeburg Air Base near Achum, Germany. The EC135 received SPIFR certification from the UK CAA in December 2000.

In 2000 Eurocopter announced the start of certification work for the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B2, a version of the PW207 which offers improved single-engine performance and 30 second emergency power. The LBA certification was achieved on 10 July 2001, and the first EC135 with the new engines was handed over to the Swedish National Police on 10 August 2001.

The world fleet leader in aircraft hours for this type is G-NESV (s/n 0067) operated by Cleveland Police Air Operations Unit based at Durham Tees Valley Airport, UK. This aircraft was originally delivered to the North East Air Support Unit in April 1999, and by 2009 it had clocked up almost 12,000 hours.

2011, Eurocopter entered the Chinese business market licensing the Zhong-Ou International Group to produce the EC135 Luxury Helicopter in the Zhejiang province.

In March 2009 the EC135 was the first aircraft selected for offshore wind support in the UK after the UK Civil Aviation Authority approved helicopter operations to the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.The EC135 had already been used for some time in Denmark, supporting the Horns Rev offshore wind farm where over 10,000 successful personnel transfers have taken place.

Gallery Images

Eurocopter EC135 T2e


Number Of Engines : Two
Powerplant type : Turbomèca Arrius 2B2 or Pratt & Whitney PW206B2 turbine engines


Length, Rotors Turning : 12.16m (39ft 10in)
Fuselage Length : 10.20m (33ft 6in)
Height : 3.51m (11ft 6in)
Main Rotor Diameter : 10.20m (33ft 6in)
Tail Rotor Diameter : 1.00m (3ft 3in)


Empty Weight : 1,455kg (3,208lb)
Max Take-off Weight : 2,950kg (6,504lb)


Max Speed At Sea Level : 140kt (259km/h; 162mph)
Cruising Speed : 137kt (253km/h; 158mph)
Maximum Range : 342nm (635km; 397mi)
Initial Climb Rate : 1,500ft (457m) per minute
Service Ceiling : 20,000ft (6,095m)
Hover In Ground Effect : 10,000ft (3,045m)
Hover Out Of Ground Effect : 6,600ft (2,010m)

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