The Helicopter

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance fly an EC 135 yellow helicopter.  It is a twin-engine helicopter produced by Eurocopter and is widely used amongst police and air ambulances services across the country. 


Useful Information:

  • Made in Donauworth, Bavaria, S Germany
  • The helicopter is leased from Bond Air Services and includes all servicing, spare parts, an onsite engineer and pilot.   The benefits of leasing an air ambulance includes the guarantee that a replacement helicopter is available if the need should arise
  • The EC 135 has 2 jet engines, but can fly on just one should an engine fail
  • Cruise Speed – 130 knots – Approx 150 mph
  • Normal weather minima  – 500ft cloud base – 1,500m horizontal visibility
  • Fuel Cons. 200 litres/ hr (44 gallons ) of AVTUR (paraffin)
  • In addition to 1 pilot and 2 paramedics, the aircraft has facilities to carry 2 patients on stretchers, or 1 patient and relative (important if carrying a small child)


Helicopter Servicing

50hrs 1 engineer 3 hours
150hrs 2          “ 6 hours
300hrs 4          “ 4 days
600hrs 4-5       “ 5-7 days

Engine life       25,000 cycles   1 cycle = 1 start up + 1 shut down


G-DORS    “Golf Delta Oscar Romeo Sierra”
The first letter denotes country of origin (G for UK) – followed by four letters for individual identity.

Call Sign

“Helimed One Zero” – A rapid means of identifying an aircraft and its purpose during radio transmission.

Medical Equipment aboard the EC 135

We carry all the latest medical and resuscitation equipment on board our helicopter including a stretcher, blankets, splints, dressings, intravenous transfusion fluids, oxygen, an ECG monitor, defibrillator, Lucas resuscitator, mechanical ventilator, vital signs monitor, IO devices, respiratory CO2 monitor, plus additional items for airway control and numerous medicines.  We also trial numerous pieces of new and innovative equipment which may benefit a patient in need.

These items enable us to save lives and manage a patient’s condition at the scene and during their journey to hospital.