The BK117 has been the workhorse of the STARS fleet since STARS began in 1985. The BK117 is a highly maneuverable aircraft able to land at hospital helipads or even directly at the scene of emergencies on highways, fields, and in remote areas with difficult terrain.
The medical interior of the helicopter features state-of-the-art instruments and technology, including a ventilator, and in some cases, airborne ultrasound. This allows STARS to take the emergency room to the patient.
The AgustaWestland AW139 is STARS' new high-performance aircraft. This helicopter flies further and faster than the BK117 and is equipped with a more spacious medical interior allowing STARS medical crew full access to two patients.
De-icing technology built into the aircraft will also allow STARS pilots to operate in a wider range of adverse weather conditions. The first AW139 is located at the STARS Edmonton base. A second AW139, which will be stationed at the Calgary base, is set to arrive in 2013.