AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the third prototype of the new generation 4.5 tonne light intermediate AW169 helicopter recently successfully completed its maiden flight at Cascina Costa in Italy. During its 35 minutes flight, the aircraft performed as expected with an assessment of the helicopter’s general handling and basic systems. A fourth prototype in scheduled to fly in early 2013 and the AW169 programme is on schedule to achieve civil certification in 2014.
The first two AW169 prototypes, which performed their maiden flights in May 2012 and July 2012, have completed more than 100 flight hours to date. Development activities to be undertaken by the third prototype, the first one featuring retractable landing gear, include climatic chamber tests, cold weather trials, hot & high trials, Cat.A performance tests and certification of optional kits.
The AW169 is part of AgustaWestland’s family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW189 models. These helicopters all possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features and share the same common cockpit concept and design philosophy. This approach will deliver real cost savings in areas such as training, maintenance and support for existing operators of the AW139 who add AW169 and/or AW189 helicopters to their fleets.
Launched in July 2010, the AW169 has rapidly found continued market success, logging orders for more than 70 units so far from customers in North & South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Australasia for a wide range of missions including air ambulance, law enforcement, corporate transport, utility and offshore transport.
A versatile, new generation twin engine helicopter, the AW169 has been designed in response to the growing market demand for an aircraft that delivers high performance, meets all the latest safety standards and has multi-role capabilities. It is the first all new helicopter design in its class in decades and the only one that will meet all the latest safety requirements.
The AW169 incorporates several new technology features to provide the highest levels of safety and operational benefits for its customers. New generation technologies are incorporated in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems. The AW169 is powered by two 1,000 shp class PW210A turbo shaft engines which will give the aircraft Vertical Cat. A / Class 1 capability up to ISA+20 at sea level and maximum gross weight. Latest technologies include an APU mode capability and touch screen cockpit devices. The AW169 is set to be the most advanced and cost effective helicopter in its class for EMS, SAR, law enforcement, passenger and offshore transport and utility missions.
Source: AgustaWestland, A Finmeccanica Company (Milan: FNC.MI)
Date: Nov 26, 2012