AgustaWestland AW189 begins full production

Full-scale production has started on AgustaWestland’s AW189 multirole medium helicopter, a new 8-tonne class, twin-engine aircraft optimised for long-range offshore transport and search-and-rescue missions.

The aircraft, which has a 50-minute ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box, is configured with 16 seats as standard but this can be adapted to a high-density 18 seat option or a more comfortable 12-seat layout for longer ranges.

AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti said the company was proud to have gone into production on schedule: “The start of full scale production brings us closer to the first AW189 delivery later this year … when customers who already operate the AW139 will start benefitting from the family advantage.”

Romiti was referring to the fact that the AW189 shares the same cockpit layout, high-performance flight characteristics, safety features, design philosophy and maintenance concept as the AW139 and AW169 models.

This commonality will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4-tonne to 8.5-tonne categories, the company says.

Four AW189 prototypes and two pre-production airframes have clocked up over 1500 flight hours so far. A ‘PP6’ helicopter is being used for the development of search and rescue configurations and mission kits.

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