EC145 DRF Luftrettung
(Revell - Nr. 04897)
The EC145 is a medium-lift, twin-engine helicopter, which was developed in a co-operation between Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Compared to the prototype design - the BK 117, the EC145 received a new fuselage with a more spacious cabin. Advantages of the new rotor blades on the EC145 are much lower vibration levels and a 25% increase in range. The EC145 is certified for instrument flight and can also be operated at night with either one or two pilots.
Besides the ADAC Luftrettung, the DRF Luftrettung is the second largest provider for HEMS operations in Germany. Currently the DRF is in charge for helicopters, pilots, medical assistants and maintenance at 30 HEMS bases in Germany with a fleet of about 50 helicoters in total. The EC145 is used primarily in the interhospital transfer role due to its range and cabin space.
In history Revell released their EMS helicopters either in ADAC colours or with decals for HEMS operators from abroad, esp. the U.S. With this reboxing including decals for the ADAC Luftrettung's competitor DRF, this kit is a real premiere for Revell's product history. The kit itself is identical with earlier releases except for the missing parts for the floatation gear and other specific items for the French SÚcuritÚ Civile versions. Although first appeared in 2005, the basic kit still stands for recent typical Revell tooling standards. There are a lot of details for the interior and the internal differences between both decal options are considered in the instructions. But be careful: Revell's instructions suggests mainly the parts which were designed for the earlier ADAC configuration but the DRF has a different medical equipment. If needed, try to find reference material. Proficient modellers will certailnly replace the moulded-in seat belts with a different material and add some more stuff in the rear cabin like blankets and medical pipework. The instrument panel with raised detail will give a proper representation in combination with a good paintjob. A hi-gloss carrier film (quite unusual for Revell's Cartograf-printed decals) is used for the flawless decal sheet. There is a tendency that the size of the decal sheets will get smaller and smaller, but not less complete. As the single decals are tight in space, a careful cutting will be necessary. There are options for the HEMS bases in Hanover and Munich. They carry the same basic colour scheme and only differ in the specific equipment like cable cutting devices, weather radar and specific lettering. The aircraft both carry a SX-5 search light underneath the starbord pilot's door which is not included in the kit. Another point to mention is the distortion effect of the cabin windows. It is to be assumed that this is unavoidable due to the outward bulge of the windows and its moulding. All other clear parts are fine.
Reissue of a good kit with potential to be superdetailed. Nice to see that Revell does not stick to the ADAC necessarily anymore.
References: for reference Material, see www.helionline.de
Reviewed by Felix Troschier - 26. September 2014
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