The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust operate two MD902 Explorers out of our bases at Marden in Kent and Redhill in Surrey to provide our Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) across the region.
The charity has been flying an MD902 Explorer helicopter in Kent since the beginning of the century, registration, G-KAAT. When the service was expanded into Surrey and Sussex the obvious choice for the second helicopter was an MD902, registration, G-KSSH. This has since been replaced with a night capable MD902, registration G-KSSA.
The MD Explorer helicopter was the first design to incorporate the unique NOTAR system. This means that the helicopter does not have a tail rotor. Instead it has an enclosed fan which directs air through the tail boom to the thruster and out of slots, using this Coanda effect for yaw control. The benefits of this system are increased safety, lower noise levels, better performance and controllability enhancements.
The helicopter has twin engines. It travels at average speeds of up to 150mph, essential for a rapid response to serious medical traumas. The 902 is still one of the most advanced aircraft available for Air Ambulance work, and the combination of this, together with the skills and experience of the pilots, allow the helicopter to land in some of the most challenging locations to respond to medical emergencies.