19-Jun-2013 Source: AgustaWestland
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the new generation AW189 8-tonne class helicopter has entered full scale production with the first two offshore-configured aircraft now on the final assembly line at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate plant in Italy. With EASA certification expected this summer, the first two offshore AW189s will be delivered by the year end.
Daniele Romiti, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland said “We are proud to achieve this major milestone on schedule. The start of full scale production brings us closer to the first AW189 delivery later this year and the when customers who already operate the AW139 will start benefitting from the Family advantage.”
The AW189 flight test programme has amassed over 1500 flight hours so far, utilising six aircraft – four prototypes and two pre-production airframes. The “PP6” aircraft took to the air for the first time in May 2013 and is being used for the development of search and rescue configurations and mission kits.
A range of mission kits as well as the first Level D Full Flight Simulator, to be based at AgustaWestland’s Sesto Calende Training Academy in Italy, will obtain certification and become available immediately after type certification, reducing the time for customers to get crews and aircraft operationally ready.
The AW189 is unique in having a 50 minute ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box, exceeding current certification standards and offering unmatched safety and reliability for long range offshore operations.
The AW189 is part of the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW169 models. These all possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as share a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept. This commonality will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4 to 8.5 tonne categories.
The AW189 is designed in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole medium helicopter. With deliveries set to start later this year, the new 8-tonne class, twin engine helicopter is optimised for long range offshore transport and SAR missions and has already received orders for more than 70 units making it the market leader in its class since its launch at Paris Air Show in June 2011.
The spacious cabin is configured with 16 seats as standard. Seating options include a high density 18 seat or a long range 12 seat layout.