Final EC135 training helicopter delivered to Australia

Boeing employees based at HMAS Albatross. (Boeing)
Boeing employees based at HMAS Albatross. (Boeing)

The final Airbus Helicopters EC135 T2+ training helicopter for the Helicopter Aircrew Training System project has arrived in Australia.

This last aircraft delivery in late August marked the completion of the training fleet for the project that will provide ab initio training to Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army students at HMAS Albatross, Boeing stated on October 10.

Airbus stated in November 2016 that it had achieved factory acceptance of the last six of the fleet of 15 helicopters, but it is understood that the final EC135 had been in Germany having an air-conditioning system fitted, serving as a prototype.

“The arrival of the final EC135 helicopter by our partner Airbus marks an important achievement as we prepare to accept the first Navy and Army trainees in mid-January 2018,” said Darryn Fletcher, program director for Boeing.

“We are now working with our partners to complete qualification of the simulators, finalise the training courses and complete the delivery of synthetic devices.”

Since being introduced, the EC135 fleet has exceeded 1,200 hours of flying.

The Navy Daily reported on October 2 that first-of-class flight trials were being conducted with the EC135 in multirole aviation training vessel MV Sycamore.

The first conversion training course to up-skill Boeing and Australian Defence Force (ADF) instructors has been completed.

“The training of the pilot and aircrew instructors is well under way, and Boeing are pleased with how live and synthetic training and materials has progressed,” said Fletcher.


  1. PAUL says

    How lucky people are in modern times – Turbine powered trainers like the EC135 for the ADF & A109 for the NZDF- Back in the 80’s they were rattling round in Piston engine trainers like Civilian trainee pilots still do today.

  2. Allan says

    Yup, I envy the modern day ADF, As a past member i remember the days when the government couldn`t even afford/care about even basic ammunition allocation for training, Steaming ours for the fleet and flying hours for the aircraft, How things have changed.

  3. Mick181 says

    Yes Allan i had the fun of running around the bush shouting Bullets,Bullets,Bullets it was around 1991 if my memory serves me correctly. An absolute utter joke that went completely against how we were trained.

  4. Allan says

    Yeah Mick, Running around shouting bullets, bullets, buckets of bullets just wasn`t the same as actually having the ammo to fire to practice with. As i said thank god things have changed and the modern ADF doesn`t have the same limitations.

  5. Mike Tavcar says

    The 135 is not a forgiving acft when conducting manual fuel exercises, especially in the hands of ab-ignition students. Also watch out on the training switch!!! I question whether a sophisticated ME helo is the best platform to learn ‘how’ to fly a helo for first time……..