30-Oct-2014 Source: HeliHub.com
HeliHub.com understands that AgustaWestland are working on a higher gross weight AW139. With the current model topping out at 6,400kg all up weight, and an optional approval up to 6,800 kg, plans are apparently well advanced for a 7,000kg version including a change in tail boom construction. There will be a gap in the serial number sequences. The Italian production line is currently around MSN 31570 and will jump to 31701 for the new model. The US production line is at 41395 and is expected the numbers will jump to 41501.
We do not have a time scale on the new model. The 7,000kg gross weight puts the very successful AW139 – with over 700 delivered to date – will close the gap against the Airbus EC175. The French built helicopter has been certified by EASA but no deliveries have yet been made to operators.
AgustaWestland were asked to comment on this story, but would only say that they “are continually looking at options to further increase the AW139’s class leading performance”.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com