AgustaWestland gained EASA approval for its new AW189 medium-twin helicopter on February 7. The company said that delivery of the first two AW189s in offshore configuration to Bristow Group is “imminent.”
More than 100 AW189s are on order. To date, Bristow has placed a firm order for 11 AW189s for use on a UK search-and-rescue contract and for offshore operations. Other large fleet customers include Gulf Helicopters and Era, with 15 orders each.
A civil variant of the military AW149, the AW189 was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June 2011 and is 12 feet longer, four feet taller and 5,000 pounds (at 17,900 pounds mtow) heavier than AgustaWestland’s AW139 intermediate twin. Compared to the AW139, the AW189’s cabin is 25 percent larger, with seating for up to 18 passengers.
Power comes from a pair of 2,000-shp, Fadec-controlled GE CT7-2E1 turboshafts. The helicopter has a Rockwell Collins glass-panel avionics suite that is NVG compatible, a four-axis autopilot and optional rotor ice-protection system.