AgustaWestland continues to be on pace to certify its new AW189 medium-twin helicopter late this year, with the first non-test production model making its first flight on Thursday. The helicopter is slated for December delivery to oil-and-gas service operator Bristow Group. Two other AW189s are on the production line in Italy.
The company said that basic mission kits will be available upon initial deliveries and that AW189 flight training devices and a full-motion simulator are already on line. AgustaWestland is setting up a second production line at Yeovil, UK, for AW189s ordered for the UK search-and-rescue market.
The AW189, a larger derivative of the medium AW139, features a pair of 2,000-shp Fadec-controlled GE CT7-2E1 turboshafts, Rockwell Collins glass-panel avionics and an air-conditioned 409-cu-ft cabin. It can cruise at up to 150 knots and has a maximum range of 635 nm. Earlier this year, AgustaWestland said it had successfully demonstrated to EASA the AW189’s ability to operate for 50 minutes following a loss of lubrication for the main gearbox.