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Wiltshire Air Ambulance to replace helicopter with S-64 Erickson Air-Crane

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has announced it intends to upgrade its helicopter later this year, replacing the Bell 429 with a S-64 Erickson Air-Crane... April Fools!!

The charity first began using its yellow and green Bell 429 helicopter in 2015 after becoming a stand-alone air ambulance charity.

Last year was Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s busiest year to date, being called to 1,238 incidents across the county and surrounding areas, including Bath.

Subsequently the charity has announced plans to move to an S-64 aircraft, which is much larger than our existing helicopter, with twice the rotor diameter, but importantly can carry its own road ambulance.

The S-64 can carry the weight of two South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASfT) ambulances, but instead will lift our own Wiltshire Air Ambulance specially modified road ambulance to emergencies.

The S-64 is also capable of flying for two hours without the need to refuel. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney engines, just like the Bell 429, but there is a significant improvement in power output (625 SHP to 4,500 SHP).

There will be no change to the crew, with one pilot and two paramedics initially attending incidents.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance will announce more details about its plan to move to an S-64 Erickson Air-Crane later this afternoon, along with a special competition to name the new aircraft.

Did we fool you? Ok, so we're not buying an S-64 Erickson Air-Crane, it was just an April Fool's joke. Our Bell 429 is here to stay and will be here for you if you need it. You can support our lifesaving work today and donate to our charity by clicking here.

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