AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the GrandNew light twin engine helicopter has been selected as the platform of choice by the Columbia River Bar Pilots in Oregon, USA. The GrandNew will replace the existing AW109 Power helicopter that has served as their transport since the early 2000’s.
The GrandNew helicopter will modernize their ship pilot operations that service the approaches to the famous Columbia River. The Columbia Bar River is globally recognized as one of the most demanding and treacherous stretches of water in the world.
The GrandNew features a new state-of-the-art full digital glass cockpit while retaining the Grand's outstanding performance and features. To enhance safety and maximise operational capabilities the GrandNew is the first type certified light twin (CS/JAR/FAR 27) to enter service with a new EFIS featuring Synthetic Vision. It is also the first helicopter in this class on the market fully compliant with the latest advanced global positioning system-based navigation requirements for all weather operations. A four-axis digital dual-duplex autopilot/flight director also helps to reduce pilot workload and enhance safety, especially when operating in demanding weather conditions.
With the highest power-to-weight ratio of any helicopter in its class the GrandNew is able to perform VTOL Cat A operations up to ISA+20 (35C at Sea Level) without any payload reduction, making it more capable than many larger helicopters when operating in high temperature conditions.
The GrandNew's "cocoon-type" composite fuselage provides high levels of protection and is fitted with crashworthy seats and fuel system. Additionally high levels of system redundancy, meeting or exceeding the latest certification requirements, are incorporated into the design.
Orders for over 300 helicopters from the Grand series have been placed by more than 180 customers in 35 countries worldwide to perform many tasks including VIP/corporate transport, passenger transport, emergency medical transport, search and rescue, harbour pilot shuttle, Electronic News Gathering (ENG), maritime patrol and water pollution monitoring.
The Columbia River Bar Pilots were established in 1846 to ensure the safety of crews, cargoes and ships that were crossing the perfidious Columbia River Bar and is one of the oldest ongoing businesses in Oregon. The Columbia River Bar is globally recognized as one of the most demanding & treacherous stretches of water in the world. All ships engaged in foreign trade are required to use a Columbia River Bar Pilot when crossing the river.
Source: AgustaWestland, A Finmeccanica Company (Milan: FNC.MI)
Date: Feb 15, 2012