Agusta Launches AW169 at Farnborough Airshow
In a surprise announcement yesterday at the Farnborough airshow, AgustaWestland unveiled its newest helicopter–the medium twin AW169. Nestling between the GrandNew and AW139 in the company’s line-up, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210-powered AW169 is aimed primarily at the government, parapublic and commercial markets, offering an eight- to 10-seat cabin that can be rapidly reconfigured for a variety of roles. “The AW169 keeps us in line with the latest market needs, and ahead of our competitors,” said AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi. What was revealed yesterday in mockup form is the outcome of the XX9 project that AgustaWestland has talked about since at least 2008. The detailed specifications of the twin-engine AW169 have yet to be finalized, but should be completed in time to be revealed at Heli-Expo in March next year. AgustaWestland is coy about the planned date for the helicopter’s first flight, but said it is aiming toward FAA/EASA Part 29 certification and service-entry in the 2014 to 2015 timeframe. Prospective customers include law enforcement and security agencies, including those with special forces, search-and-rescue organizations and emergency medical responders. The type also has natural applications in the commercial world, both onshore and offshore.