ABACE Convention News

Newest AW109 Trekker Is More Versatile With Skids

 - April 11, 2014, 2:00 PM
AgustaWestland’s AW109 Trekker is equipped with a skid landing gear that gives the light twin the operational versatility to serve in multiple roles, ranging from utility, surveillance and EMS work to passenger transport. (Photo: Barry Ambrose)

The latest addition to AgustaWestland’s family of helicopters is the AW109 Trekker, which was introduced in February and will be the first of its light twin aircraft to offer skid landing gear. The new model is expected to receive certification and begin deliveries next year and is mainly aimed at applications such as aerial work, utility, law enforcement, emergency medical flights, surveillance and passenger transportation, for which the skid landing gear will give greater operational versatility.

The helicopter, which can accommodate six passengers or up to two stretchers with two medical attendants, will be produced at AgustaWestland’s U.S. factory in Philadelphia. Based on the AW109/Grand, the Trekker is equipped with the Garmin G1000H glass cockpit and is powered by a pair of Fadec-equipped Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207C 815-shp engines for a max cruise speed of 160 knots.

The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg) and will, using the manufacturer’s modular five-cell fuel system, deliver a flight endurance of up to four hours and 20 minutes, or a 445-nm range (824 km). With external loads, the maximum weight is 7,055 pounds (3,200 kg) and useful load is 1,500 kg (3,306 pounds).

The Trekker’s cabin is the same of that on the Grand and GrandNew models and can accommodate six passengers. In emergency medical use, it can carry one stretcher and four attendants or two stretchers and two attendants. If required, the aircraft can be flown by a single pilot.

The Garmin avionics suite features a pair of 10.4-inch displays, one primary flight display and a multi-function display. For improved situational awareness and safety, the cockpit includes integrated helicopter synthetic-vision technology with highway-in-the-sky depiction and the integrated helicopter terrain awareness warning system. Other standard equipment includes moving map, flight management system, dual VHF/AM radios, dual VOR, dual GPS, an electronic standby instrument system and a mode-S transponder.

The Trekker’s safety features include a cocoon-type airframe, a crash-resistant fuel system, as well as crew and passenger seats, full Cat A/Class 1 performance even in hot environments, a three-axis autopilot and a flight director coupled to the GPS. Equipment options include a cargo hook with a capacity of 3,086 pounds (1,400 kg), an external rescue hoist (600 pounds/272 kg), a searchlight, external speakers, forward-looking infrared, video downlink, snow skis and emergency floats.

Here at the ABACE show, AgustaWestland is exhibiting with its Chinese distributor Sino-US Intercontinental Helicopter Investment (Booth P132). The company was appointed as the nonexclusive distributor for China, not including Hong Kong and Macau. It is part of the Shanghai Zenisun Investment Group, which is active in general aviation and real estate.