The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) EC135 is a twin-engine civil helicopter produced by Eurocopter, widely used amongst police and ambulance services and for executive transport. It is capable of flight under instrument flight rules (IFR) and is outfitted with digital flight controls. It entered service in 1996; over a thousand aircraft have been produced to date.
Deliveries started on 1 August 1996, when two helicopters (0005 and
0006) were handed over to Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht. The 100th EC135
was handed over to the Bavarian police force in June 1999; by which
point the worldwide fleet had accumulated approximately 30,000 flight
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.
In 2011, Eurocopter announced that a total of 1000 EC135 helicopters
had been delivered to customers worldwide, roughly 15 years following
the start of production.
In 2009, the EC135 was the first aircraft selected for offshore wind support in the UK after the Civil Aviation Authority approved helicopter operations to the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm. The EC135 has also been used for this purpose in Denmark, supporting the Horns Rev offshore wind farm where over 10,000 successful personnel transfers have taken place.
In 2013, it was reported that the EC135 was currently providing
roughly 25% of the world's total emergency medic services flights, and
that over 500 EC135s have been delivered to in an aeromedical
In October 2014, the Australian Department of Defence announced that
the EC135 would be procured as the primary training platform for both
the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy. A total of 13 EC135 trainers have been procured by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, they have been designed as the TH-135.
In December 2014, the first production EC135 T3 formally entered
service with Aiut Alpin Dolomites, a mountain rescue operator based in
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