AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, showcased for the first time the new generation 4.5 tonne-class light intermediate twin engine AW169 at the HEMS 2013 Conference, held in Massa Carrara, Italy. The Italian HEMS Community was allowed to have a first look at the capabilities and features of the aircraft that is meant to set the new standard for rotorcraft aeromedical applications in its class, asthe only new generation helicopter developed in its category in decades.
The AW169 builds on decades of AgustaWestland’s know-how and experience in the demanding HEMS sector and benefits from the very latest certification and safety standards as well as superior performance, in-house avionics integration and design capability. AgustaWestland’s leading role in designing and manufacturing transmissions and rotor systems further distinguishes the AW169 for EMS applications.
AgustaWestland exhibited the A/C3 prototype aircraft, the third of four currently used for the programme development. First officially announced in summer 2010, the AW169 programme has already totaled over 400 flight hours and certification is expected in 2014. The AW169 has achieved a rapid initial success in Italy as well as in the global market with orders now exceeding 100 units worldwide, many of which for EMS and public utility roles.
A versatile, new generation twin engine 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 4.5 tonne AW169 incorporates several new technology features to provide the highest levels of safety and operational benefits for its customers. Latest generation technologies are incorporated in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems allowing high performance and low environmental impact. Perfectly suited to both primary and secondary EMS missions, the AW169 can accommodate one or two stretchers, either longitudinally or transversally, which is especially important for operations where in-flight stretcher recovery is required. The large unobstructed cabin can also accommodate wheeled stretchers and can be configured with a full suite of advanced life support equipment.
The AW169’s avionic suite introduces state-of-the-art technology including a full digital NVG compatible cockpit with three 8” x 10” large area displays (AMLCD) with enhanced graphics capability for maximized 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 is part of the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW189 models, all possessing the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as sharing a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept. This commonality will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4 to 8.5 tonne categories.
Source / Author: AgustaWestland