The second prototype of the AgustaWestland AW169, a new generation 4.5-tonne light intermediate helicopter, successfully completed its maiden flight today at Cascina Costa in Italy. Meanwhile, the first AW169 prototype arrived at Farnborough in the UK yesterday in preparation for its public premiere at the Farnborough International Airshow, held July 9-15.
The first two prototypes will be joined by another later this year and a fourth in 2013. The AW169 programme is on schedule to achieve civil certification in 2014.
The AW169 is part of AgustaWestlands family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW189 models. These helicopters all possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features and share the same common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concepts. The company said this approach would deliver real cost savings in areas such as training, maintenance and support for existing operators of the AW139 who add AW169 and/or AW189 helicopters to their fleets.
Launched at the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2010, the AW169 has logged more than 50 orders so far. A versatile, new generation twin engine helicopter, the AW169 is the first all new helicopter design in its class in decades.
The AW169 incorporates several new technology features, incorporated in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems. The AW169 is powered by two 1,000 shp class PW210A turboshaft engines which will give the aircraft Vertical Cat. A / Class 1 capability up to ISA+20 at sea level and maximum gross weight. Latest technologies include an APU mode capability and touch screen cockpit devices.