Irish Community Air Ambulance takes delivery of world's fastest civilian helicopter
The helicopter can travel from Mizen to Malin Head in a little over 90 minutes.
The Irish Community Air Ambulance has taken delivery of the fastest civilian helicopter in the world.
The Leonardo 109S helicopter will go into full service from Thursday and is ideally suited to the provision of a rural Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS).
The new aircraft will offer more speed, greater patient comfort and it has the capacity to take on more fuel, increasing endurance and range.
It can fly 300km/h and is capable of flying the length of the country from Mizen to Malin Head in a little over 90 minutes.
The same journey on the road would take as much as eight hours.
“We are often called to the most serious of incidents, in these situations where you’re dealing with a critical patient, the small gains can have the greatest benefit to the patient’s comfort and outcomes," Irish Community Air Ambulance Chief Executive, Mícheál Sheridan said.
"This new helicopter offers more speed but it also has additional room at the rear. That means that we can transport adult patients more comfortably and we also have space for an additional medic on board, if necessary.”
The Irish Community Air Ambulance relies solely on donations in order to operate and is also appealing to the public for donations in order to continue providing its service.
"The new aircraft also means additional costs," Sheridan said.
"The Air Ambulance is expected to cost €1.55m to run this year and relies entirely on fundraising. Each mission costs an average of €3,500, we need donations and support to help us go further faster.”