Third AW169 takes to the skies
Nov. 28, 2012, Cascina Costa, Italy - The third prototype of the new generation 4.5 tonne light intermediate AgustaWestland AW169 recently completed its maiden flight at Cascina Costa, in Italy.
By Carey Fredericks
During its 35 minute 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, Category 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 flight characteristics and safety features and share the same common cockpit concept and design philosophy. This approach is intended to deliver cost savings in areas such as training, maintenance and support for existing operators of the AW139 who add AW169 or AW189 helicopters to their fleets.
Launched in July 2010, the AW169 has already logged orders for more than 70 units.