The new aircraft, unveiled in late February at the Sydney Opera House, brings enhanced lifesaving abilities to the CareFlight airrescue team: capable of being airborne within three minutes of activation, the H145 has a flight speed of up to 250km/hr, says CareFlight – ensuring that patients receive treatment as fast as possible.
“We know that the sooner we reach patients and start clinical interventions, the better the outcome for patients,” Dr Toby Fogg, CareFlight’s National Medical Director, commented. “CareFlight flies our specialist doctor and NSW Ambulance intensive care paramedic to the scene of trauma so they can immediately assess and commence clinical treatment. For patients who are critically injured or ill, we know this gives patients the best chance of survival, and with this new helicopter online, we will be able to arrive and commence treatment sooner.”
Enhanced cabin space
Designed to mimic the internal space of a road ambulance, and with space enough for three medical staff and one patient (or two patients and two medical staff), the H145 cabin is specially configured with the latest medical equipment, including a mobile intensive care unit and advanced radio and intercom system, which allows patients to be closely monitored throughout their transportation.
Increased in-flight and landing capabilities
The aircraft is able to land on small and uneven landing sites, as close to the incident as possible, thanks to the combination of a small diameter high main rotor and a fully enclosed Fenestron tail rotor.
In addition, full four-axis autopilot, single-pilot instrument flight rating and a full night-vision-goggle compatible cockpit for 24-hour operations, as well as rear clamshell doors that allow for faster loading and unloading, makes up the H145’s advanced flight features – all of which save crucial minutes, greatly increasing patient outcomes.
External design features of the aircraft include the Helionix Avionic system, which filters the information provided to aircrew through the glass panel display to provide the right information at the right phase of the mission. This includes information from the Synthetic Vision System (SVS), which displays an accurate view of the surrounding terrain and obstacles, regardless of outside visibility.
“The advanced cockpit, autopilot and avionics are first-class, making it one of the most advanced aeromedical helicopters operating in Australia,” said current Rapid Response Pilot and CareFlight Co-Founder, John Hoad. “Having flown six different helicopters for CareFlight over my 35 years with the organization, I am excited that we continue to be at the forefront of aeromedical and aviation technology.”