Equipping a helicopter for HEMS operations is a complex task. Spectrum Aeromed has designed and developed air ambulance medical interiors for more than 30 years. Having completed projects for customers ranging from hospital programmes and private operators to military services, its expertise is known throughout the industry. But this work does not come without challenges, particularly when trying to adapt a commercial helicopter’s interior into a ‘temporary flying hospital’, as RotorHub discovered.

“One of the main challenges is the limited space in a helicopter where we can install our medical kit,” explains the company. “We have to pay careful attention to protecting the equipment from any liquids like water or different body fluids, plus all of the equipment needs to be easy to disinfect. In addition, if night flights are being conducted, the monitoring screens have to be compatible with NVIS lighting.

“We make it a practice to listen to our customers prior to any work and understand the different requirements and mission profile, be it mountain rescue or coast guard. The differing demands can relate simply to the number of patients that they plan to carry at any one time.”

The complex work involved in the cabin conversion can require a lengthy recertification process, but Spectrum has learnt from experience. “In order to reduce the time for certification, a number of different configurations are pre-approved and already have supplemental type certificates,” it notes.

As one of the few companies to offer a medical configuration for the Sikorsky S-92, Spectrum currently holds FAA, EASA and ANAC certifications for work on the type. “We’ve provided this specialist model to different heads of state, military and state organisations, coast guards, and ministry of health groups – it has proved to be extremely popular,” reports the company.

From “Always There, Always Ready” RotorHub, June/July 2020, p. 22