AgustaWestland delivers first UK AW169
AgustaWestland has delivered the first of six AW169 helicopters ordered by the UK’s Specialist Aviation Services (SAS).
The aircraft, serial 69014, stopped in Grenoble and Vatry in France on its way to Redhill. It will be operated by the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.
“We are very proud to be introducing the all new AW169 helicopter into service in the UK with one of the country’s leading air ambulance operators.” said Henk Schaeken, managing director, SAS Group. “We have been very busy training our engineers and pilots in preparation for the introduction to service of the AW169, so we can deliver from the outset the same high level of aircraft availability and support which our customers have come to expect from us.”
The helicopter is due to have its air medical interior fitted by SAS at their Gloucestershire Airport facility
“The imminent delivery of the AW169 is a very significant event in the development of HEMS in the UK, especially in a heavily populated region the size of Kent, Surrey and Sussex – some 3,600 square miles.” said Adrian Bell chief executive, Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust. “The enhanced capabilities of the helicopter will allow us to further develop and improve the life-saving service we deliver to the community and the aircraft offers the exciting potential to reconfigure how these services are delivered for maximum effect in the future.”
The AW169 will be used to replace one of the two MD Explorer helicopters that the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance currently operate. The remaining MD Explorer will also be replaced by a AW169.
SAS have also placed AW169s with Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance, and the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Starspeed also have two W169s on order for customers in the UK.
More than 150 AW169 helicopters have been ordered by almost 60 customers in over 20 countries around the world to date.