Yorkshire Air Ambulance Unveils its new helicopter G-YAAA

Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA), has announced the arrival of its brand new, H145 D3 Helicopter. The Helicopter is the first of its kind to come directly off the production line in Germany and into the UK.

The new model has a whole host of technologically advanced features that will make the service more efficient. Most noticeably, a five-bladed ridged main rotor, making the system simpler, lighter, and easier to maintain than the previous rotor. The five-bladed rotor system will also help to significantly reduce vibrations, which will considerably improve ride quality for both patients and the crew.

In addition, the new aircraft has an integrated camera system which allows the pilot to see behind and below the aircraft, making take-offs and landings safer. With the addition of the cameras, crew will now be able to load patients into the Helicopter with the rotors still turning, allowing for a quicker and more efficient process for incidents where time is critical.

On-board Wi-Fi will also allow patient records to be updated in flight, and a cutting-edge secure communications system will also allow the crew to send patient data ahead to their destination hospital, allowing Doctors and Nurses at their destination hospital to start evaluating and assessing the patient before they arrive.

In the cabin, the YAA doctors and paramedics are most excited about the new wheeled stretcher system that will make loading and unloading patients into the aircraft a much easier process, with the stretcher taking most of the weight of the patient, opposed to the manual lifting the crew are currently used to.

A man with short brown hair and wearing glasses and a green coat, stands in front of a yellow helicotper. He is at the back of the helicopter and the back doors are open. There is a stretcher on a stand and wheels next to him.
Acting HEMS Clinical Operations Manager Paul Holmes with new YAA Helicopter G-YAAA

The two current YAA helicopters, G-YAAC and G-YOAA, which came into service in 2016 will be phased out within the next 12 months, with the first of the new Helicopters, G-YAAA, starting active duty at the end of March, and a second new Helicopter, G-YORX, joining the service shortly after in early summer 2023.

Steve Waudby, Director of Aviation explains: ‘It is very exciting news for us to announce the arrival of our new H145 D3 Helicopter. The big difference you’ll notice is that this new helicopter has five rotor blades, which means it’s a lot smoother. It’s also slightly lighter, because the anti-vibration equipment has been removed, which means we can carry another half an hour’s worth of aviation fuel, allowing us to stay airborne and go to a lot more jobs before we must return to base to refuel’.

As an independent charity, Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies on the generosity of the public and their fundraising efforts to continue its lifesaving work. It currently costs £19,000 per day to maintain and operate the YAA’s two Airbus H145 Helicopters, based at Nostell Priory in Wakefield and RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk.

Steve continues ‘On behalf of everyone at YAA, we thank the good people of Yorkshire who have provided us with the vital funds to be able to purchase our new Helicopters, without which, it would not have been possible. Our aim has always been to provide the best possible air ambulance service, and by upgrading our helicopters we can continue to ensure we are futureproofing and modernising our operations and service delivery’.

Senior HEMS Paramedic, Sammy Wills, who has over 30 years of experience in emergency response medicine, 20 of which have been with the air ambulance, said, ‘The arrival of the new Helicopter has been the talk of the base for some time now and now it’s here, all shiny and new, we just can’t wait to start flying in it.

Close up image of the front of a yellow helicopter, which is sat on a helipad.
New YAA helicopter G-YAAA

For me, as a paramedic, the first thing that stands out about the new aircraft is the new stretcher. The stretcher keeps us self-sufficient. We no longer have to wait on the Helipad at major trauma Hospitals for a trolly to be brought to us, the new system allows us to just wheel our patients directly into the emergency department, getting the patient the treatment, they need, that much quicker’.

Over 8,500 people across Yorkshire have received lifesaving care by the quick action of Yorkshire Air Ambulance service over the past 23 years. For further information or to donate today, please visit www.yaa.org.uk.