The colour scheme for Wiltshire’s new Air Ambulance was unveiled on 22 April by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust’s board of trustees.
The helicopter, a Bell 429, which will arrive from Canada in October this year, will become operational when the current partnership with Wiltshire Police ends in December.
The new helicopter will incorporate yellow and the distinctive Wiltshire ‘green’, which is used across the county flag. The belly of the helicopter will also carry a distinctive ‘W’, again representing Wiltshire and one side will proclaim: ‘Funded by you, flying for you.’
Chairman of the charity’s board of trustees Richard Youens said: “Developing the design of the livery for the new helicopter has been a challenging process.
"We wanted to ensure that the colour scheme not only reflected the county of Wiltshire, but is also sufficiently different from the current helicopter in recognition of this new chapter for the county’s air ambulance.
"We have also had to take into account what would be acceptable to Bell Helicopters and develop a design which is both easily identified and meets industry standards.”
The Bell 429 is the world’s newest and most advanced light twin-engine helicopter in service, equipped with the latest in-flight technology. The Wiltshire aircraft will be the first of its kind to operate as an air ambulance in the UK. It has a top speed of 150 knots and a range of 400 miles making rapid response to any incident within the county achievable within minutes.
The aircraft is currently on the production line in Mirabel, where it will be adapted to make it capable of carrying one or two pilots, two or three paramedics as well as a patient on a stretcher.
Prior to delivery the aircraft will be fitted out with the most recent Aerolite equipment to meet the highest Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) specification. This autumn will see a period of testing and training for the crew in Wiltshire so that the new air ambulance can go live by 1 December.
The Air Ambulance will be available 19 hours a day, 365 days a year and is one of only a few in the UK that can fly at night with the capability of ad-hoc landings. Currently, on average, the helicopter is called out to two to three different incidents across the county every day.
The Trust anticipates it will cost £2.5million a year to keep the air ambulance flying – £6,850 per day. To help the service raise the money it needs visit