17-Sep-2018 Source: Leonardo
Leonardo announced another major milestone in the certification process of the TH-119 single engine helicopter with the first ‘power on’ of the new Genesys Aerosystems avionics. The all new avionics and cockpit allowing unique IFR operations is being integrated at Leonardo Philadelphia facility, home to the AW119 single engine final assembly line for the US and global market as well as to the development and certification of all customized solutions able to meet evolving market requirements. The TH-119 is expected to perform its maiden flight in autumn and to achieve FAA certification in the 1Q2019.
The TH-119 is a dedicated variant of the successful AW119 specifically designed for military training customers, primarily to meet the U.S. Navy requirements. The new version features distinctive capabilities and unique features differentiating it from the proven AW119 commercial helicopter while keeping certification advantages. Like the commercial AW119, which has been chosen and is in operation over land and sea with a range of customers including armed forces and public service agencies from nations in all continents with total orders for nearly 320 units, the TH-119 will be built at the company’s existing AW119 manufacturing line in Philadelphia.
William Hunt, CEO, AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation said: ”This event marks a major step forward in the integration of the all new avionics into the only IFR operations-capable single engine helicopter, as we get close to more extensive ground and flight testing activities towards FAA certification early next year. I congratulate the whole team and partners for this achievement aimed at offering US naval aviators the best, most cost/effective US-made solution for their future basic and operational training.”
The TH-119 maintains redundancies on several key systems for maximum safety, high power margin thanks to its popular and highly reliable Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-B engine while featuring a modern Genesys Aerosystems cockpit that gives flexibility to instruct from either seat. The TH-119 is the only full-spectrum training helicopter, meaning that with a single variant, single configuration of the helicopter the operator can accomplish the most basic VFR training flights (hovering, full auto-rotations) equally as well as advanced training flights (NVG, Instruments, Tactics, Hoist, cargo hook, shipboard landings). This makes the TH-119 the best single engine solution in the market for training in demanding weather and low visibility conditions.
Additional features that, among others, set the aircraft apart from its competitors include:
A unique cabin configuration with an additional 180-degree adjustable trainer observation seat at the base of the instrument panel giving the occupant a full view of the cockpit;
Full Night Vision Device (NVD) compatible cockpit and cabin with high-visibility cockpit doors and a low-profile instrument panel to ensure maximum visibility from the cockpit;
Re-enforced skids with replaceable skid shoes which support the multiple repetitions of essential touchdown training maneuvers;
Cargo hook and hoist options supporting advanced training events;
And a five-fuel cell option that provides more than five hours of flight time with pressure refueling port allowing for less downtime to refuel as well as “hot” refueling while the engine is still running.