Following the announcement of the latest fleet investment by European Air Ambulance – a larger, longer-range Challenger 605 – we wanted to provide you with some further background on the aircraft and its capabilities, and why it’s such a good fit for both EAA and our valued clients and trusted partners.
We are always looking to expand and enhance the aeromedical services we offer, and we’re proud to share the benefits that the new aircraft will bring to those who rely on our worldwide repatriation missions.
New addition: The new addition to our fleet is a 2009 Bombardier Challenger 605 (serial number 5784), with just over 6,000 flight hours and 2,000 landings completed. It has a range of between 3,200 and 4,000 nautical miles (5,900-7,400km) depending on the load.
The cabin is spacious enough to accommodate up to 12 passengers comfortably while in a standard configuration – however for EAA the aircraft will be adapted into a dedicated air ambulance for use on repatriation missions worldwide.
We will have multiple configuration options taking into consideration the various needs for ICU patient transportation and up to four accompanying passengers. There is a private lavatory and a separate luggage compartment, with enough room for the luggage of both patient and passengers.
The aircraft, which will become operational in the summer, will be equipped with a satellite telecommunication system and high speed broadband internet so that the crew can stay in permanent contact with the Control Centre and the client, and report on the development of the mission and the medical condition of the patient.
Background: The Challenger 605 (CL-605) was Introduced by Bombardier at the beginning of 2006 as an avionics and structural improvement to the CL-604 - with larger cabin windows and updated cockpit instrumentation. Thanks to design modifications, newly located fuel tanks - one aft bladder tank and an enlarged tail-cone tank - the weight distribution was improved resulting in greater fuel economy.
Bombardier designed the Challenger cabin to be spacious - the widest in its category at 1.86m high, over 2.5m wide and 28.3ft long. This, along with a luggage compartment holding up to 16 bags, has cemented its popularity among business travellers over the years.
So what are the advantages of the new aircraft for EAA clients?
Operational: The CL-605 has a greater range than smaller mid-range aircraft, allowing for longer flights and consequently a reduction in repatriation delays.
It has a non-stop range of at least 3,200 nautical miles (more than 5,900km), meaning we can fly directly to destinations in sub-Saharan Africa roughly to the Equator; all of Central Asia to the border of Mongolia; all of the Middle East; and the East of Canada - avoiding the need for the overnight stop that is currently required on missions flown in a mid-range aircraft.
With the addition of a single stop, we’ll be able to cover the whole of Africa; the whole of North and Central America and as far south as Brazil’s northern border; and South East Asia including Korea and Japan.
Medical: The aircraft will have a dedicated but flexible air ambulance interior with full ICU-in-transit capability, and the additional space will allow for more medical equipment and supplies to be carried on missions - including: the Spectrum stretcher loading system; up to 14,000 litres of oxygen depending on the mission configuration; intensive care patient transport equipment such as the HAMILTON-T1® transport ventilator and Corpuls3 Monitor/Defibrillator; and specialist equipment for neonatal and premature babies such as the MediPrema N.I.T.E.® incubator.
Additionally, for infectious disease patients including those with or who are suspected to have Covid19, we use an Infectious Disease Unit. EAA’s Infectious Disease Unit allows comfortable space for the patient and for the medical crew enough access to the patient, enabling adequate treatment while still being completely isolated from the surroundings.
Capacity: The interior of the aircraft is flexible, allowing for multiple configuration options appropriate to the needs of the patients and the nature of the mission.
The greater cabin space means we can carry more patients on the same flight, with examples being up to two intensive care patients; two Covid19 patients in isolation units; two incubators (eg for twins) with enough remaining space for an additional stretcher for the mother should she need medical attention or simply to sleep during the mission; whole families where all are injured for example after a road traffic accident; or an expectant mother whose pregnancy is at risk, accompanied by a specialist gynaecology team and an incubator with a neonatal team in case of a mid-flight delivery.
There will also be more space for ECMO missions; and for bariatric patients with requirements for additional room and a specialist stretcher system. And we’ll be able to carry more passengers – up to four – who can accompany the patient, and a more generous luggage allowance.
How can you request the Challenger 605?
The request process remains the same as for all EAA missions. Once contact has been made by a client or customer, our 24/7/365 Control Centre team will handle all quotes and our operations team will begin planning the mission.
Our staff receive extensive ongoing training and have an in-depth understanding of what is required to plan all missions, including those for which the CL-605 will be best suited.
Clients will be able to directly request the new aircraft for a mission; or they can submit a general enquiry and the Control Centre dispatcher will recommend the more suitable aircraft depending on the nature of the mission, with a full explanation of the reasons, and costings.