Asahi Shimbun orders an AW169 for news gathering

AgustaWestland AW169 to be used for electronic news gathering by Asahi Shimbun in Japan.
An Agusta Westland AW169 helicopter flying.

An Agusta Westland AW169 helicopter flying.

AgustaWestland and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace has announced that Japan’s leading newspaper, The Asahi Shimbun, has placed an order for one AW169 helicopter.

The new aircraft will join a GrandNew helicopter already in service with the same customer and will be used to perform press and electronic news gathering (ENG) missions in Japan. The AW169 is expected to be delivered in 2015 and enter service in early 2016.

This will be the first AW169 in Japan to be used for electronic news gathering. Asahi Shimbun’s AW169 will be equipped with gyrostabilised camera.

Andrew Symonds, president, AgustaWestland Japan said: “We are delighted to have such a leading operator as the first customer for an ENG-configured AW169. This selection testifies market satisfaction with our customised solutions for the task and demonstrates the AW169, thanks to its outstanding characteristics in terms of cabin space and comfort, performance, safety and technology, is perfectly suited for this mission. We are confident the first new generation helicopter in its class in decades will prove a tremendous addition to Asahi Shimbun’s assets and capabilities.”

With four prototypes flying and over 400 flight test hours logged so far, the AW169 is on schedule to achieve certification in 2014.

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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