Agustawestland AW189 makes debut at Heli-Expo
February 13, 2012 By Carey Fredericks
Feb. 13, 2012, Dallas, Tx. - AgustaWestland is exhibiting the AW189 helicopter at Heli-Expo 2012 (Dallas, TX, 12th – 14th February) for the first time.
Unveiled at the Paris Airshow in June 2011, the AW189 programme is progressing as planned with the maiden flight performed by the first prototype ahead of schedule in December 2011. Certification is expected in 2013 with deliveries starting in early 2014. The first prototype is being used for avionic system testing whilst the second prototype, set to fly in 2012, will be dedicated to SAR and offshore mission kits qualification.
The all new AW189 was launched in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole helicopter in the 8-tonne class and has rapidly found success in the market place. A number of sales have already been secured from leading operators serving the offshore oil and gas markets, including Bristow Helicopters, Weststar Aviation Services of Malaysia and Bel Air of Denmark
“We are confident as we progress towards certification that many more operators will select the AW189 as their new generation helicopter for search and rescue, offshore transport and parapublic missions due to its long-range capabilities, attractive operating costs and modern safety features“, said Bruno Spagnolini, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland. “We see good potential for the AW189 in North and South American markets for both onshore and offshore missions, so Heli-Expo was the obvious choice for presenting the aircraft to potential customers this side of the Atlantic.”
The AW189 is part of AgustaWestland’s family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW169 and AW139 models. These helicopters all possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features whilst sharing the same common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concepts. 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.
The twin engine AW189 helicopter is optimised for long range offshore transport and SAR missions. Powered with two General Electric CT7-2E1 engines, equipped with FADEC and built-in particle separators, the AW189 will have class leading performance. The aerodynamically efficient airframe, rotor system and the innovative rotor blade design will ensure the AW189 delivers low fuel consumption, high cruise speed and an outstanding range capability. These factors will enable the AW189 to achieve low seat mile costs and low fuel burn.