AgustaWestland, announced that the first prototype of the AW169, a new generation 4.5 ton light intermediate helicopter, successfully completed its maiden flight last week.
The helicopter performed as expected during the flight which included an assessment of the helicopter’s general handling and basic systems.
“The AW169 is the only new generation helicopter in its category to be launched in decades, so this is an important milestone for the continued enhancement of AgustaWestland’s product range and for the development of our family of new generation helicopters,” said AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini.
“With both the AW169 and AW189 now flying, we are able to offer the market the most advanced range of helicopters across the 4 to 8 tonne weight classes in the shortest possible timescales.
“Operators will for the first time ever, in the helicopter market, be able to benefit from the advantages of a family concept of three new generation helicopters.”
The AW169 is part of AgustaWestland’s family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW189 models.
This approach will 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.
The AW169 programme is on schedule to achieve basic civil certification in 2014.
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