A new upgraded air ambulance helicopter has entered the Midlands Air Ambulance charity’s fleet.

Registered with the call sign ‘G-RMAA’, the £7 million Airbus helicopter was introduced to the service yesterday from the organisation’s RAF Cosford airbase in Shropshire.

The new helicopter was officially unveiled on Monday by the charity’s chairman Brendan Connor with supportive charity ambassadors actor John Challis, Sir Lee Pearson CBE and Neil Back MBE.

The lifesaving charity operates three strategically-located air ambulance helicopters across six Midlands counties, including Shropshire.

Mr Connor, chairman of Midlands Air Ambulance charity, said: “Excellent pre-hospital patient care is at the heart of everything we do.

“To support our mission, build resilience, and strengthen the long-term sustainability of the charity, we made the strategic decision to invest a proportion of donations into a larger, upgraded H145 model.

“The new airframe will enable us to reduce our operating costs and complements our plans to further improve pre-hospital care in the region.”

In addition to the new wholly-owned H145 helicopter, the charity owns a H135 helicopter, and will continue to lease one further H135 aircraft from its aviation partner, Babcock Mission Critical Services.

The larger H145 air ambulance helicopter was originally built by Airbus in Germany, and received its medical fit-out at Babcock in Staverton, Gloucestershire.

Charity ambassadors Mike Tindall MBE and Nigel Mansell were present on the day of the delivery of the new helicopter to the charity’s RAF Cosford airbase at the beginning of February.

The new H145 helicopter will undertake an average of three air ambulance missions every day and will provide a great number of benefits to patient care within the Midlands.

It travels greater distances without the need for refuelling and enables the aircrew to respond even faster thanks to its increased speed capability.

The larger interior means additional aircrew can be flown to major incident scenes, and further medical equipment can be carried on board to treat more complex emergencies.

For more information about the Midlands Air Ambulance charity – and to find out more about how to support the organisation or to get involved – contact the team on 0800 840 2040 or alternatively log on to the website www.midlandsairambulance.com