10-Feb-2014 Source: HeliHub.com
Late last week, the AgustaWestland AW189 was certified by EASA. First deliveries are expected shortly, perhaps as early as this week with Bristow Helicopters expecting the first at their Norwich base for operations on oil rig support in the southern North Sea. Their helicopter – photographed below – is serial 49007 and is seen here in full colours with the British registration covered over and an Italian test registration applied temporarily in place.
Bristow Helicopters have 11 on order for the British SAR contract and an unspecified number for oil and gas rig support. Gulf Helicopters in the Middle East and Era Helicopters in the Gulf Mexico are both expecting 15, while smaller orders include two for each of Silk Way in Azerbaijan, Weststar in Malaysia and Belair in Denmark. Thailand’s SFS Aviation are reported to be expecting four. Leasing companies LCI and Waypoint have already committed to the AW189, as has Bond Offshore Helicopters (part of Avincis Group).
The AW189 will also be produced in military guise as the AW149, and the MSNs of both will be in a single series.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
Photograph (c) Copyright 2014 of Marco Bianchi and reproduced here with his express permission.
Some hours after the story above went live on HeliHub.com – AgustaWestland confirmed the story with the following
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the new generation AW189 medium twin engine helicopter has been issued with type certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 7th February 2014. After successfully completing the Type Board Meeting last September, EASA completed the final validation activities of the first fully representative production aircraft. Delivery of the first two AW189s in offshore configuration to Bristow Group is imminent.
Less than three years after the AW189 was unveiled at Paris Air Show in June 2011 AgustaWestland has achieved EASA certification thanks to strong collaboration between the EASA and AgustaWestland teams. With the AW189, AgustaWestland has responded to market demand for a new generation medium twin-engine helicopter and achieved its aim of greatly reducing the time to market, whilst meeting the most stringent requirements set by the certification authorities and by the market.
The certified AW189 helicopter configuration is fully compliant with the requirements for offshore oil and gas operations and includes all the relevant kits and avionic features to perform this demanding role. The certified flight envelope for the aircraft enables operators to undertake operations in demanding and harsh environments from initial entry into service.
AgustaWestland has also established a comprehensive range of support and training services ahead of the aircraft’s introduction to operational service with virtual and ground maintenance trainers and an AW189 Flight Training Device (FTD) already qualified by an EASA / ENAC joint team to FTD Level 2 as per CS-FSTD(H). The FTD is located at AgustaWestland’s Training Academy in Sesto Calende, Italy, which also has the first AW189 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) that will become operational soon.
Daniele Romiti, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland said “EASA certification of the new generation AW189 is a tremendous achievement and marks a major milestone in the development of new generation long range helicopters as well as bringing into service the newest member of our unique Family of helicopters.
He added “We are committed to ensuring that the many customers who have already ordered the AW189 and will soon take delivery of their helicopters, will get industry leading levels of service to enable them to exploit the AW189’s class leading capabilities.”
The first AW189 final assembly line is located in Vergiate, Italy, with second one being established at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility in the UK, which will initially build the AW189 helicopters that will be used for the UK’s new Search and Rescue service and then to meet the global demand for SAR-configured AW189s.
The AW189 was designed in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole medium twin engine helicopter. The new 8.3 tonne AW189 is optimized for long range offshore transport and SAR missions and has already received orders for 130 helicopters, including options and framework contracts, making it the outright market leader in its class. Customers include many of the world’s leading large fleet operators such as Avincis Group, Bristow Group, Era Group, Gulf Helicopters and Weststar Aviation Services. Additionally major helicopter leasing companies such as Lease Corporation International, Milestone Aviation Group and Waypoint Leasing have signed agreements for AW189 helicopters.
The spacious cabin is configured with 16 seats as standard with the option for a high density 19-seat layout or a long range 12-seat configuration. The cockpit design, incorporating the latest in advanced situational awareness technologies, reduces crew workload and enhances safety. The AW189 meets the very latest international regulatory safety requirements (EASA / FAA Part 29, JAR OPS 3 / EU-OPS). 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 AW169 and AW139 models, which possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as sharing 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 weight categories.