The helicopter used by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance is a Eurocopter EC 135. The current aircraft is seven years old and was launched at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu on Wed 29th September 2010. Even though it is slightly larger than its predecessor the Bolkow 105, the EC 135 can still land in an area only the size of a tennis court. It also has skids, which are ideal for the varied terrain we have in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The Aircraft has a larger and much improved cabin layout, which is better for the paramedics as they have more room to work on the patient in flight, should this be necessary. The EC 135 can carry three or four crew members as it has an extra seat. This extra seat means that not only can a doctor fly with two paramedics, but sometimes a family member can travel with the patient. With the EC 135 the patient can be loaded from the side door, unlike the Bolkow which could only load through the clamshell doors at the back. Side loading is much better for the crew, and far less stressful for the patient.