AgustaWestland’s fourth AW169 helicopter completes first flight
AgustaWestland has announced that the fourth prototype of the new generation 4.5 tonne class light intermediate AW169 helicopter successfully completed its maiden flight at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate plant in Italy yesterday.
The flight went as expected and the event is a major milestone for the AW169 programme as the last of four prototypes will now enter the flight test programme. The AW169 programme is on schedule to achieve civil certification in 2014. The first three AW169 prototypes, which performed their maiden flights in May 2012, July 2012 and November 2012, have completed more than 150 flight hours to date. The fourth prototype, built in just 71 days, is fully representative of the production configuration.
The AW169 is part of AgustaWestland’s family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW189 models. Launched in July 2010, the AW169 has rapidly found market success, logging orders for more than 70 aircraft so far from customers in North & South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Australasia for a wide range of missions including air ambulance, law enforcement, corporate transport, utility and offshore transport.