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AgustaWestland Enters Full Scale Production Of The AW189 Helicopter
By Steve Hall

June 18, 2013 - The AgustaWestland’s AW189 flight test program has amassed over 1500 flight hours so far, utilizing six aircraft, four prototypes and two pre-production airframes. The “PP6” aircraft took to the air for the first time in May 2013 and is being used for the development of search and rescue configurations and mission kits. 

The new AW189 model was announced by AgustaWestland at the Paris International Air Show on 20 June 2011. The company plans to have the helicopter certified by 2013 and in service in 2014. The AW189 is a civilian development of the military AW149, which is an enlarged development of the AW139. AgustaWestland aims to sell the AW189 for offshore helicopter support, search and rescue and passenger transport roles.

The first AW189 took its maiden flight on December 21, 2011 from company’s facility in Cascina Costa, Italy. Daniele Romiti, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland said “We are proud to achieve this major milestone on schedule. The start of full scale production brings us closer to the first AW189 delivery later this year and the when customers who already operate the AW139 will start benefitting from the Family advantage.”

A range of mission kits as well as the first Level D Full Flight Simulator, to be based at AgustaWestland’s Sesto Calende Training Academy in Italy, the company will obtain certification and become available immediately after type certification, reducing the time for customers to get crews and aircraft operationally ready. The AW189 is unique in having a 50 minute ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box, exceeding current certification standards and offering unmatched safety and reliability for long range offshore operations. 

The AW189 is part of the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW169 models. These all possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as share 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 ton categories. 



The AW189 is designed in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole medium helicopter. With deliveries set to start later this year, the new 8-ton class, twin engine helicopter is optimized for long range offshore transport and SAR missions and has already received orders for more than 70 units making it a market leader in its class since its launch at Paris Air Show in June 2011. The spacious cabin is configured with 16 seats as standard. Seating options include a high density 18 seat or a long range 12 seat layout.

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