London's helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) MD Helicopters (MDHI) Explorer entered service late last month, replacing a Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin which has been sold to a private owner based in Barbados.


The £4.2 million ($5.9 million) twin-engined Explorer, completed by UK EMS operator Medical Aviation Services, will be based at Royal London Hospital's rooftop helipad. Sponsored by airline boss Richard Branson, Virgin HEMS will be used to transport and treat severely injured patients on around 1,000 missions a year.

Two further Explorers were simultaneously handed over to Japanese companies Aero Asahi and Asahi Shimbun Press, and will be deployed for EMS and electronic news gathering missions, respectively. The deliveries bring to seven the Japan-based Explorer fleet.

Source: Flight International