Fimeccanica-AgustaWestland announced today the new generation AW169 helicopter has been issued with type certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 15 July 2015. Delivery of the first production helicopters to customers will now commence.
AgustaWestland has achieved EASA type certification less than five years after the AW169 programme launch. This achievement has been made possible also due to the strong collaboration between the EASA and AgustaWestland teams. With the AW169, AgustaWestland has responded to market demand for a new generation versatile light-intermediate twin-engine helicopter and has achieved its aim of greatly reducing the time to market, whilst meeting the most stringent operational and safety requirements set by the certification authorities and by the market.
The AW169 4.6 tonne helicopter is the first all new aircraft in its weight category to enter the market in more than 30 years, setting new certification and safety standards and marking the operational readiness of the whole AW Family. The first units will be delivered from the Vergiate final assembly line in Italy. A second AW169 final assembly line is being established at AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia plant in the USA. AgustaWestland’s Yeovil plant in UK plays a key role in the production of rotor blades and the tail rotor transmission system. The AW169 programme has benefitted from UK Government support and has already proven extremely successful in this market for corporate transport and public service duties. A Flight Training Device (FTD) and a maintenance training simulator are already operational at AgustaWestland’s Sesto Calende Training Academy in Italy, while a Level D Full Flight Simulator will be available in 2016.
More than 150 AW169 helicopters have been ordered by customers around the world to date, including framework contracts and options, for a wide range of applications including executive/corporate transport, air ambulance, law enforcement, offshore transport and utility roles. Designed with inherent dual-use capabilities, the AW169 is also ideally suited for the wide scope of parapublic and government applications and will be able to meet military and naval requirements.
A versatile, new generation twin engine light intermediate category helicopter, the AW169 has been designed in response to the growing market demand for an aircraft that delivers high performance, meets all the latest safety standards and has multi-role capabilities. The AW169 is certified in accordance with EASA CS-29 / FAR Part 29 latest Amendments. FAA certification will follow in the next few months.
The type incorporates several new technology features in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems. The AW169 can comfortably accommodate up to ten passengers in its large, unobstructed cabin, fitted with a range of customised equipment and entertainment systems. The aircraft is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW210A turboshafts. An auxiliary power unit (APU) mode ensures the continued operation of the environmental control system, radios and medical equipment when the rotors are stopped.
The AW169’s avionic suite introduces state-of-the-art technology including a fully digital NVG compatible cockpit with three 8” x 10” large area (AMLCD) displays and touch screen technology with enhanced 3D graphics capability for maximum situational awareness. A 4-axis digital automatic flight control system (DAFCS) with dual Flight Management System (FMS) minimises crew workload, allowing single/dual pilot VFR/IFR operations. The avionics suite also complies with satellite-based navigation, communication and surveillance requirements and has the capability to perform satellite-based IFR LPV (localizer performance with vertical guidance) approaches to maximize round-the-clock utilisation of the helicopter. Safety enhancing avionics such as Terrain Awareness Warning Systems, airborne collision avoidance systems can be added to the standard avionic configuration.
The AW169 features advanced variable speed main rotor which improves efficiency and reduces the external noise footprint. It is also the first helicopter in its category entering the market with an electric retractable landing gear which reduces complexity and maintenance requirements. Furthermore, several advanced aerodynamic solutions have been incorporated into the AW169 airframe under the European Clean Sky Green Rotorcraft GRC2 Drag Reduction programme.
The AW169 is designed with inherent ease of maintenance, for reliable, intensive utilisation in the most demanding conditions with high time between overhauls (TBO) and minimal life-limited parts. Time between successive inspections has been optimised to maximise aircraft availability and reduce maintenance man hours per flight hour, adopting MSG-3 approach for the maintenance process. Maintenance programmes can be tailored to meet operators’ specific requirements, making the AW169 an ideal platform for operators wanting to maximize aircraft utilisation.
The AW169 helicopter is part of AgustaWestland’s family of new generation helicopters that also includes the AW139 and AW189. These helicopters all possess the same high-performance flight characteristics and safety features whilst sharing the same common cockpit concept and design philosophy. This approach facilitates synergies for operators of fleets across the 4 to 9 tonne categories in areas such as training, flight operations, maintenance and support.