AW139 Obtains Flight-in-icing Approvals

 - August 31, 2010, 12:59 PM

The FAA, EASA and Transport Canada approved Goodrich's rotor-blade ice-protection system (Rips) for the AgustaWestland AW139 medium twin, the Charlotte, N.C.-based aircraft systems supplier announced yesterday. Rips is a key part of the full ice-protection system and bestows all-weather capability on the AW139, making it the first helicopter in its category certified for flight into known-icing conditions. The automated system was designed and integrated as a complete ice-protection solution for the AW139. Rips uses Goodrich’s DuraTherm electrothermal mats, which can tolerate damage, including punctures, and continue to provide ice protection. “The development of a completely integrated civil-certified ice-protection system was a ‘first time’ both for AgustaWestland and Goodrich,” said Enrico Bellussi, ice protection system design team manager for AgustaWestland. “[Our] side-by-side work enabled the development of a complex system that affected the whole helicopter, both in installation and in overall performance.” Goodrich ice detection and ice protection products are already used on many helicopters, including the Bell-Boeing V-22, Boeing Apache AH-64, NHIndustries NH90, Korean Aerospace Industries Surion utility helicopter and the Sikorsky Black Hawk, CH-/MH-53, S-76 and S-92.