AW unwraps its newest 109 Grand
To the accompaniment of multicolored lights and music, AgustaWestland unveiled its new AW109 Grand New here yesterday. According to AgustaWestland head of marketing Roberto Garavaglia, the helicopter is a “step change” follow-on to the popular AW109S Grand.
The Grand New is already certified by EASA, and FAA approval is expected in the next several weeks. The new model uses the same Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207C turbine as its predecessor.
Noting that a “Da Vinci” special variant of the Grand New for Swiss Air-Rescue Rega has already been delivered, Garavaglia emphasized the demand for versatility in today’s depressed market and pointed out seven distinct Grand New configurations.
In its mountain search-and-rescue guise, the Grand New can hover at 14,500 feet. As an offshore vehicle, it provides room for six passengers and one pilot, all in forward-facing crashworthy seats, and has a range of 200 nm at 2,000 feet and a high-speed cruise of 140 knots. Its max gross weight is 7,000 pounds.
The new model’s all-digital cockpit has no “steam gauge” instruments and includes four Cobham Avionics displays with synthetic-vision system, highway-in-the-sky, HTAWS and FMS. The Grand New also has a health and usage monitoring system and a helicopter emergency egress lighting system.
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, already has orders for 20 Grand New helicopters in various configurations. According to a source, AgustaWestland sold three Grand New helicopters yesterday. With five AW139 and two AW119 sales, also yesterday, the total value of all AgustaWestland helicopters sold at Heli-Expo thus far is in the $87 million range.
Asked if this is the last of the AW109 line, Garavaglia chuckled. “We said it is the latest, not the last.”