AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace are pleased to announce that Japan’s leading newspaper ‘The Asahi Shimbun' has placed an order for one AW169 4.5 ton class helicopter. This aircraft, which adds to a GrandNew light twin helicopter already in service with the same customer, will be used to perform Press and Electronic News Gathering (ENG) missions in Japan. This AW169 is expected to be delivered in 2015 and enter service in early 2016. This contract marks the entrance of the AW169 into the world ENG market and expands the success of this all new model in Japan. It also further increases the presence of state-of-the-art AgustaWestland helicopter models used by prime Japanese ENG operators, which also includes the GrandNew and the AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopter. Asahi Shimbun’s AW169 will be equipped with gyrostabilized camera.
Andrew Symonds, President, AgustaWestland Japan said “We are delighted to have such a leading operator as the first customer for an ENG-configured AW169. This selection testifies market satisfaction with our customized solutions for the task and demonstrates the AW169, thanks to its outstanding characteristics in terms of cabin space and comfort, performance, safety and technology, is perfectly suited for this mission. We are confident the first new generation helicopter in its class in decades will prove a tremendous addition to Asahi Shimbun’s assets and capabilities.” A versatile, new generation twin engine light intermediate category helicopter, the 4.5 tonne 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 incorporates several new technology features in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems. The AW169 is part of the AgustaWestland family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW189 models, which possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as sharing a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance/training concept. This commonality will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4 to 8.5 tonne categories.
Over 80 AW169 helicopters have now been ordered in more than 40 countries by almost 20 customers worldwide and for a wide range of missions including corporate transport, air ambulance, law enforcement, utility, ENG and offshore transport. With four prototypes already flying and over 400 flight hours logged so far, the AW169 is on schedule to achieve certification in 2014. The Asahi Shimbun, which was first published in 1879, is one of Japan’s leading newspapers. Headquartered in Tokyo, The Asahi Shimbun has an extensive news-gathering network that provides seamless coverage every day. In Japan, there are general bureaus and bureaus in all 47 prefectures; with an additional 5 general bureaus and 28 bureaus in place around the world. All in all, there are 321 domestic and global news-gathering bases. The Asahi Shimbun owns one jet and four helicopters.
Source / Author: AgustaWestland