Air International 2002-07
J.Lake - Eurocopter EC 135 /Rotary wing/
Bond Air Service Ltd's relief EC 135T1, G-BZRS (c/n 0166), with Strathclyde Police titles, is shown fitted with Eurocopter’s external reinforced mission bolsters on the nose, which enables the carriage of appropriate role equipment.
Eurocopter’s last classic VFR EC 135T1 Advanced Police Helicopter, G-SUFF (c/n 0118), prior to the launch of the Single-Pilot IFR EC 135T1/T2. Operated by the Suffolk Constabulary Air Support Unit, it is based at the Army Air Corps airfield at Wattisham, Suffolk.
Central Counties Police Consortium EC 135T1, G-CCAU (c/n 0040), in the configuration used for the first flight tests of McAlpine's police mission pod. The Consortium comprises the Staffordshire Police and West Mercia Constabulary and originally operated from Halfpenny Green Airport, though it has since moved to Stourbridge.
EC 135T1 G-KRNW (c/n 0175) is operated by Bond Air Services Ltd on behalf of Cornwall Air Ambulance and flies from RAF St Mawgan.
Irish Garda Air Support Unit EC 135T1, still in UK civil markings as G-BZRM (c/n 0149), seen at McAlpine Helicopters' Oxford/Kidlington facility prior to delivery, expected in June 2002 when it will gain military serial 256 in the Irish Air Corps sequence. After a pre-acceptance test flight at Donauworth on December 8, 2000, the following day the helicopter was flown to Kidlington, where installation of mission equipment was undertaken by McAlpine Helicopters. With work now complete and airtesting under way, delivery is anticipated imminently.
Ertzaintza (Basque Police) EC 135T1 EC-GNA (c/n 0017) was one of two (the other being EC-GMZ c/n 0016) delivered to Eurocopter’s first police customer for the type in March 1997. It is one of only three currently registered in Spain, the third example being EC 135P2 EC-IFU (c/n 0223), delivered in April 2002 to the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Government of the autonomous Spanish community of Catalonia and based at Sabadell Airport, near Barcelona.
EC 135T1 G-WCAO (c/n 0201) was the first McAlpine Helicopters-developed single-pilot Advanced Police Helicopter (APH) EC 135 with the revised police mission pod. Delivered to McAlpine Helicopters Ltd in December 2001 as D-HECU, it was officially UK-registered on April 8, 2002, and is due for delivery in June to Western Counties Police Air Operations Unit, based at Bristol/Filton. A consortium of the Avon, Somerset and Gloucestershire Police forces, the unit was formed in 1995 and currently operates Eurocopter AS 355F2 G-OASP.
UK executive helicopter charter company Air Harrods, based at London Stansted Airport, owns and operates this EC 135T1, G-HARP (c/n 0116), in a VIP configuration. Initially delivered in January 2000 with Cayman Islands registration VP-CAF, the helicopter was upgraded for single-pilot IFR operations by Eurocopter at Donauworth in early 2001 before being allocated its current UK registration on April 25, 2001. This luxuriously-appointed helicopter was recently offered for sale through Michael Wheatley Helicopters of Chertsey, Surrey.
Strathclyde Police Air Support Unit EC 135T1 G-SPAU (c/n 0142) was leased from Bond Air Services Ltd from mid-2000 and based at Glasgow's City Heliport, alongside the River Clyde. It was unfortunately destroyed in a non-fatal accident on February 17, 2002, at Muirkirk, Ayrshire. Formed in 1989, the unit also operates Eurocopter BO 105CBS-4 G-SPOL.
A typical EC 135 instrument panel in police configuration, fitted with single-pilot IFR avionics. The type can be ordered either with a traditional analogue cockpit or with the Sextant Avionique Nouvelle glass cockpit, according to customer preference. An NVG-compatible cockpit configuration is also available.