AREA WE SERVE
600 Square Miles
10 million people
OUR AVERAGE FLIGHT TIME
AVERAGE TRAFFIC SPEED
Normal traffic: 9 mph
Emergency vehicles: 20 mph
ANYWHERE IN LONDON WITHIN 12 MINUTES
London is the world’s busiest, most complicated airspace. We have unique privileges in London’s airspace, with priority over all other air traffic when on an emergency medical call. Our experienced pilots have the right to land anywhere they deem safe. They are looking for a space of 80ft square – equivalent to a tennis court - as close to the scene of emergency as possible.
MD902 Explorer Twin Engine Helicopter
Our helicopter has been chosen for its safety features which include no tail rotor, important in an urban environment. It has been specially adapted for its purpose, to enable patients to be treated to the standard of an intensive care unit in flight. Although the helicopter is equipped to take a patient to the hospital, this is not always the case. Often, the patient will travel by London Ambulance Service accompanied by our trauma team.
The density of urbanisation in London is so intense that the helicopter has to be operated by 2 pilots. The co-pilot acts solely as a navigator and communicator – talking to air traffic control and looking out for wires and high buildings while identifying an appropriate landing site.
Our pilots commonly land at box junctions, multi-storey car parks and busy areas in central London.
Hull No: 68
Max all up weight: 6250 lbs
Engines: 2 Pratt and Whitney 206e
Top speed: 140 kts
- Mission ready endurance: 1 hour from the Helipad (130 miles)
Rapid Response Cars
24/7 cover for London
To ensure 24/7 cover for London, the helicopter is replaced by cars after dusk or in adverse weather conditions. The cars are able to drive under blue lights, reaching the patient safely, and as quickly as possible.
London’s Air Ambulance uses high performance Skoda Octavias equipped with blue lights and high visibility strips to deliver the team to the patient at night. Our paramedic drives on blue lights and the doctor navigates to the scene of incident. London’s Air Ambulance has its own internal driving licence to prepare the team to drive under blue light conditions during the day or night.
Engine: 2.0 Turbo FSi 200 BHP
Type: 4 cylinder in line engine
Valves per cylinder: 2
Multi point fuel injection turbo
Cubic cap: 1.984
Bore stroke: 82.5 x 92.8
Max speed: 149mph
- 0 to 62 mph: 7.3 seconds