AgustaWestland, the helicopter design and manufacturing company based in the UK and Italy, last month announced deliveries of the first AW139 and an A109 Grand to South Africa. The AW139 made its way via ferry flight from Milan, Italy, to Cape Town, South Africa, to join the static display at African Aerospace and Defence 2006. Outfitted with a VIP-configured interior, the helicopter stands out thanks to a special paint scheme. Designed by a South African artist for its new owner, a private businessman, the paint scheme was airbrushed onto the helicopter at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate facility.
The AW139 is equipped with two Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C engines and has a maximum takeoff weight of more than 14,000 pounds. It is a six-ton, medium-lift helicopter intended for a variety of roles, including EMS, SAR, offshore, firefighting, harbor pilot shuttle, VIP and law enforcement.
South African entrepreneur David Mostert, meanwhile, accepted delivery of his Grand helicopter, with a six-passenger VIP interior. The two new Pratt & Whitney PW207C turboshaft engines with electronic control and upgraded transmission provide a maximum takeoff weight of 7,000 pounds at Full Class 1 operation. This allows the Grand to serve numerous applications, including SAR, EMS, offshore operations, corporate/VIP transportation, law enforcement and coastal patrol.