7-Mar-2011 Source: AgustaWestland
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce a further expansion of the AW139 medium twin helicopterâ€™s capabilities with two recent certification approvals. The AW139 has recently obtained certification for offshore take off and landing procedures for operations according to Performance Class 1 (PC1) and PC 2e (enhanced) requirements, as defined by the stringent JAR OPS 3 rules. This allows take-offs and landings from helidecks with a minimum diameter of 15 m (less than the overall length of the helicopter, equal to 16.66 m), at MGW above 6400 kg. Additionally the AW139 has recently obtained certification to operate in sea state six conditions providing the AW139 with unique capabilities in its class thanks to its emergency floatation system design.
Since entering service with its launch customers in 2003 the AW139â€™s capabilities have steadily grown through a number of developments. A Maximum Gross Weight (MGW) of 6,800 kg (14,991 Ib), a 400 kg (882 Ib) increase on the basic MGW, is available as an optional kit to enable the AW139, with a maximum range of over 500 nm (926 km), to target the long range offshore transport market currently being met by larger 19-seat types or allow even longer patrol and further extended SAR endurance. The introduction of an advanced 4-axis AFCS with SAR modes enables the AW139 to accomplish the most demanding search and rescue operations. The development of the unique in class FIPS (Full Icing Protection System), allows flights in known icing conditions giving an all weather capability, meaning the aircraft will successfully accomplish the mission of saving lives even in the most demanding conditions when other types would be confined to the hangar.
With more than 500 units sold in more than 50 countries for an impressive variety of commercial and government applications, meeting the a diverse range of operational requirements from over 140 customers across the globe. The AW139 new generation medium twin has set the standard against which all new medium twin aircraft are measured. The AW139â€™s rapidly growing success stems from unparalleled performance, cabin space, flexibility, mission technology and safety levels which have all made this model the new benchmark helicopter for several roles. The AW139 is the fastest helicopter with the most spacious cabin in its class. It has the highest power reserve and unmatched OEI capability enabling it to operate in the harshest hot and high conditions as well as low temperature and icing conditions. With more than a third of sales placed for the offshore energy transport market, the AW139 has become the point of reference among prime large fleet operators in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Australasia. Its unmatched features have also made the AW139 the aircraft of choice for emergency medical service and search and rescue tasks in any environment for both land and sea operations. A number of private and government SAR operators are taking advantage of its capabilities saving lives in many countries including Italy, the UK, the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Spain.
The high levels of performance and mission versatility has led many governments all over the world to choose the AW139 for law enforcement, homeland security, border and coastal patrol, disaster relief, fire fighting, utility, tactical transport and special operations significantly increasing the level of security for the communities they serve. The AW139 has also been selected by several customers for VIP/corporate and passenger transport roles offering unprecedented levels of comfort, safety and performance for the task.
The latest development is the AW139M, a customized military version of the multi-role AW139. The variant is being offered for the U.S. Air Forceâ€™s Common Vertical Lift Support Program. The rapidly increasing demand for the AW139 in the world market has led to a progressive expansion of the production activities. The AW139 is currently being assembled in Vergiate (Italy) and Philadelphia (USA) while a third assembly line is being established in Russia to be run by HeliVert, a joint venture between AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters. Fuselages are also being manufactured and supplied by PZL-Swidnik from Poland and TAI from Turkey.