UPDATED: Pictures and video as ‘bigger, faster, better’ air ambulance takes to the skies

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After more than a year in the planning, the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance are delighted to announce that their new state-of-the-art AgustaWestland 169 (AW169) helicopter has arrived at its base at RAF Waddington.

The new aircraft will become operational from tomorrow (Wednesday June 14,) and will undertake an average of three life-saving missions every single day.

The AW169 has significant benefits and will enhance patient care. It is bigger, giving paramedics and doctors 360-degree access to patients in flight; it is faster meaning it can get to patients quicker; and it has better endurance meaning it can fly further without the need to refuel.

CEO Karen Jobling said: “Excellent patient care is at the heart of everything we do. The combination of speed, endurance, and technology of the AW169 will be of huge benefit to our patients, giving them the very best chances of survival possible in their greatest hour of need. The aircraft also has the most advanced navigation capabilities on offer in the industry and is extremely future-proof.

“We are proud to say that our charity saves lives every day, and with this new aircraft we can continue doing so for many years to come. This is only possible thanks to the generous support from the people, organisations and businesses in the communities within which we serve. A heart-felt thank you goes out to each and every one of them.

“I’m sure our supporters will be pleased to see that the new Ambucopter is the same yellow colour that we have all grown so fond of and that it will be spotted very soon flying through our skies, en route to another life-saving mission.”

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. EMN-170613-164334001

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. EMN-170613-164334001

The charity operates with no Government or National Lottery funding so rely on donations from local people to continue saving lives every day of the year. Each life-saving mission undertaken with the new aircraft will cost an average of £2,500. With around 1,000 of these missions undertaken every year, we need to raise £2.5m over the next year.

The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance has been operational for over 23 years and in that time their crew has responded to over 18,200 of the most serious and time critical 999 calls across our counties including road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests, sporting accidents, farming incidents, falls, and many more involving both adults and children.

Since 1994, they have operated four helicopters, and each one has offered an upgraded service and greater benefits to patients - the AW169 is no exception. As well as being their biggest and fastest aircraft to date, it is also the most technologically advanced and is ‘top of the range’ in the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service.

The cost of the final week of flying on their outgoing MD902 helicopter - which has served the charity well for the past seven years - has been kindly paid for by the Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Countryside Appeal – a total donation of £44,100.

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. Crew with the new AW169. EMN-170613-164300001

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. Crew with the new AW169. EMN-170613-164300001

NAACA have supported our charity for many years and they felt that this would be a fitting tribute to the MD902 as it ceases operations for the charity today (June 13).

• Visit www.ambucopter.org.uk/help-save-life to support the charity.

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. EMN-170613-164322001

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. EMN-170613-164322001

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. Air opereations manager Roger Linnell. EMN-170613-164215001

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. Air opereations manager Roger Linnell. EMN-170613-164215001

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. EMN-170613-164049001

Launch of the new Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at RAF Waddington. EMN-170613-164049001