Including the police photographer
G-WYPA in service with Wiltshire police and ambulance services in 2005. This aircraft was previously one of the Great North Air Ambulances (photos lower down the page). Prior to this it was new in 1989 as West Yorkshire’s police helicopter (hence the callsign).
This is a photograph of G-NEAU, one of the two police helicopters used in North East England covering the Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland forces. This Eurocopter 135 is based at Durham Tees Valley Airport. It carries a Nite-Sun searchlight, daylight and thermal imaging video camera and a stretcher.
Here we have a G-WPAS, the Wiltshire Police Air Support Unit. The MD Explorer helicopter is jointly operated with Wiltshire Ambulance Service as an air ambulance.
The helicopter lifts off. You can see the gyrostabilised camera mounted below the nose of the helicopter and the night-sun spotlight mounted at the end of the port skid.
G-WPAS is not equipped with a tail rotor. Instead, hot air is ducted out of the rear of the boom providing stability. This makes the aircraft quieter to operate and easier to control when landing in confined places. It also makes it safer for persons moving around the exterior of the aircraft when its engines are running.
This is the West Yorkshire Police Air Support Unit, a MD902 Explorer. Its police callsign is Xray-99 and the CAA callsign is G-YPOL. West Yorks got a Messerchmitt Bolkow Blohm B0105 DBS4, registration G-WYPA, in December 1989 and this helicopter replaced it in February 2001.
The Explorer was built in Phoenix, Arizona by MD Helicopters Inc. and cost in the region of £3.2m. Equipment carried includes loudhailer, cameras, video equipment, night vision cameras, stabilised binoculars, searchlight, and tracker unit for stolen vehicles.
The helicopter is able to reach anywhere in West Yorkshire within 12 minutes. It has a maximum range of 238 miles, and a top speed of 143 mph. The Explorer has no tail rotor, making the helicopter much quieter and safer on the ground.
The North East police helicopter (G-NESV) with the Great North Air Ambulance (G-NAAS) in the background and a Durham Honda motorbike in the foreground.
The North East police helicopter (G-NESV) with one of its pilots.
Here is a picture of the the Eurocopter EC135T (G-NESV) as it takes off.