In addition to its quiet, good neighbor qualities, the EC135 features a built-in anti-resonance isolation system (ARIS) that filters rotor-induced vibrations and smoothes out the ride for its passengers. The system keeps the vertical vibration level well below .1G at hover with no increase with speed.
The EC135, a popular choice for medevac and police missions, has a maximum cruise speed of 140 knots, an economical cruising speed of 120 knots and a range, without reserves and at economical cruise speed, of more than 350 nautical miles. Hover ceiling in ground effect at max weight is 10,000 feet; out of ground effect, the EC135 can hover at 7,200 feet.
The versatility of the helicopter is provided by a number of optional cockpit, cabin and cargo compartment configurations. The basic VIP package is a five-passenger arrangement with three rearward facing seats and two forward facing seats. The flight deck can be either fitted out in a conventional configuration or decked out with the "Avionique Novelle" glass cockpit with LCD multifunction displays.
The single-pilot IFR configuration consists of two Sextant SMD45 displays, plus a central panel display system (CPDS). The CPDS includes a vehicle and engine multifunctional display (VEMD) and a caution and advisory display (CAD). The avionics suite is the Honeywell Gold Crown. Additionally, the EC135 features Eurocopter's first limit indicator (FLI) that simplifies engine and torque monitoring so pilots can concentrate on the mission without missing vital information.
By October of 2002, Eurocopter was able to celebrate the occasion of the delivery of the 250th EC135. A year later, in September 2003, the company handed over the 300th EC135, to McAlpine Helicopters, Eurocopter's dealer in the United Kingdom. The 300th EC135 was the 26th to enter service in the United Kingdom, making it the best selling new light twin in the U.K. market.
In January, as a further indication of the EC135's multi-role capability and popularity, the Czech Police Aviation Department in Prague took delivery of the first of eight it ordered. Half of the eight helicopters will be used in the Czech Republic's Integrated Rescue System (emergency medical service, police, fire fighting, mountain rescue and search and rescue); three will be configured for police missions such as surveillance, anti-terrorist and crime fighting; and the last will be reserved for "flexible response, universal-mission" operations with quick-change interiors and equipment. By early this year Eurocopter had delivered 309 EC135s to more than 100 customers in 28 different countries and had a backlog of 45 aircraft.