DRF Luftrettung develops multifunctional ground plate

DRF Luftrettung develops multifunctional ground plate

10-Sep-2020 Source: DRF Luftrettung

During the Covid-19 pandemic, DRF Luftrettung acquired special isolation stretchers to
transport highly infectious patients. These stretchers, known as EpiShuttles, can now be
fastened perfectly in the helicopter thanks to a special ground plate developed by the EASA Part
21 Design Organisation at DRF Luftrettung. The new solution impresses with its simple handling
and safety. It is referred to in the business as the Multifunction EMS Ground Plate and, with a
load-bearing capacity of up to 300 kg, is currently one-of-a-kind on the market. The
corresponding STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) was recently issued by the EASA, meaning
that the product is now ready for series production and can also be made available to external

DRF Luftrettung will use the new plate, which is mounted on the floor of the helicopter, in its ten
helicopters equipped with EpiShuttles. It has just been installed for the first time in the ‘Christoph 111’
helicopter stationed at Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden airport, which is primarily earmarked for the transport of
Covid-19 patients during the pandemic. The other DRF Luftrettung HEMS bases will follow. One major
advantage is that the helicopter crews can fit the plate themselves in a very short time without the need
for any tools and can fix the EpiShuttle onto it. This means that they can react quickly and flexibly to the
many different situations encountered in air rescue. It will also be possible to use the plate for other
transport systems in future, such as incubators.

EASA Part 21 Design Organisation as driver of innovation

The Federal Aviation Office (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt, LBA) had granted a temporary exception regulation
for the alternative EpiShuttle mounting that has been used to date. As such, a new solution had to be
developed that not only meets the requirements of the helicopter models used, but also allows faster
and improved handling by the teams. The Part 21 Design Organisation at DRF Luftrettung has been
working at full speed over recent months to develop a prototype of the new plate. To ensure that the
product meets the building specifications for the helicopter and legal regulations, the team conducted
extensive functional tests and ultimately obtained the relevant approvals. The Supplemental Type
Certificate from the EASA enables DRF Luftrettung to install the plate in its own fleet (BK 117 C2 and
BK 117 D2). In addition, a Form 1 from the Federal Aviation Office confirms the plate’s basic suitability
for aeronautical vehicles, paving the way for sale to external customers.

Providing patients with optimal emergency medical care and transporting them quickly and safely to the
right hospital by air is the primary task of DRF Luftrettung: ‘We stand for advancement in emergency
medical care. The new product from DRF Luftrettung is the best example for showing that we are able
to develop innovative solutions that benefit patient safety in-house within a short time. We are proud of
the fact that other aviation companies can also benefit from the expertise of our Design Organisation,’
states Dr Peter Huber, COO of DRF Luftrettung.

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