The UK has a long history with Turbomeca-engined EC135 Eurocopters, having bought no less than 53 choppers powered by the French engines. But that changed recently, when two police forces decided there were advantages to the choppers having Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines instead.
The West Midlands and East Midlands air support units have recently taken delivery of EC135P2+ models powered by P&W engines, at their bases at Birmingham and Husbands Bosworth respectively.
West Midlands replaces a 1998-built MD Explorer G-WMID, which they have operated since April 2000 for over 1,000 hours a year.
It has now been bought by Police Aviation Services Ltd, and will be converted into an air ambulance, to be operated by Medical Aviation Services Ltd. East Midlands replaces a 1998-built EC135T1, which has been operated for around 1,100 hours per year. It has been sold to the Cayman Islands Police Service.