30-May-2013 Source: PZL-Świdnik
PZL-Świdnik, an AgustaWestland company, is pleased to announce it has delivered the second W-3WA Sokol helicopter in VIP configuration to the Polish Air Force as part of a contract signed in 2011 for five aircraft. The first W-3WA Sokol was handed over four months ago and the remaining aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2013. The W-3WA Sokols will be used to transport senior military and government personnel.
Lieu. col. pilot Stanisław Kondrat, Air Operations Commander, 1st Airlift Base, who participated in the new helicopter flight tests, said “We are accepting the second out of a series of new W-3 helicopters from the Świdnik plant. The aircraft is capable of carrying up to 8 passengers, including the country’s top officials. It offers a comfortable passenger cabin and a modern cockpit equipped, among others, with an excellent weather radar. The new helicopter will be numbered ‘1015’. Our pilots have already used ‘1014’, the helicopter we received in January this year, in HEAD status missions, carrying the country’s VIPs.”
Both the passenger cabin and cockpit of these aircraft have been customised to increase passenger comfort and reduce pilot work load, whilst also improving the pilot’s spatial awareness for increased safety. The aircraft are equipped with a GPS navigation system that includes an obstacle database and also a weather radar system. Together these systems provide the pilot, via LCD cockpit displays, with greater awareness of obstacles, terrain and adverse weather, thereby improving safety in adverse weather conditions.
The VIP configured cabin features a modern and elegant Italian designed interior made with high quality materials to provide a comfortable workspace for VIP passengers. The cabin is also equipped with an audio system integrated with the helicopter’s systems, that allows passengers to communicate internally and externally via a dedicated mobile telephone system. The cabin is equipped with additional sound proofing which provides a low noise environment in the cabin for increased passenger comfort.
Nicola Bianco, Managing Director, PZL-Świdnik, said “It is a great pleasure to complete the handover of the second Sokol in VIP configuration. We’re pleased that the excellent operational capabilities and comfort the Sokols provide have been greatly appreciated by the Polish Air Force and that the aircraft are successfully performing high profile VIP missions.”
The basic version of the W-3A Sokol is a twin engine helicopter with the maximum take-off weight of 6,400 kg capable of carrying up to 14 people, as well as cargo. The helicopter has proven its outstanding capacity as a highly effective and reliable aircraft capable of operating in all climates and weather conditions, day and night. Combining high efficiency with exceptionally flexibility enables the helicopter to perform a wide range of missions including passenger transport, troop transport, law enforcement, air ambulance, search and rescue, fire fighting and other utility roles. The helicopter has a four blade main rotor and three blade tail rotor. All blades can be equipped with electrical heating elements to enable operations in icing conditions. Power is provided by two PZL-10W turboshaft engines with each engine rated at 662 kW for take-off.
With over 60 years of experience and having produced over 7400 helicopters, PZL-Świdnik is the only Polish OEM with the capabilities to undertake helicopter design, research & development, system integration, manufacturing, support, training and upgrades. PZL-Świdnik has been an AgustaWestland company since 2010.