Leonardo has received EASA certification for the super-medium twin AW189K, a variant developed with a pair of Safran Aneto 1K engines. The 2,500-shp engines themselves received EASA approval late last year following a flight-test campaign that began in 2017.
They offer 25 percent more power and improved high-hot performance than the standard AW189 engines, the GE CT7-2E1, enabling the helicopter to operate to a ceiling of 15,000 feet, one-third higher, than the stock engines, and increasing maximum takeoff and landing altitudes to 14,000 feet, a 6,000-foot increase. Safran said the -1K’s maintenance regime has been optimized with fewer scheduled tasks and longer service intervals, connected features including health monitoring, and full compatibility with Boost, Safran’s online engine configuration, and maintenance management service.
Qatar’s Gulf Helicopters is the launch customer for the AW189K, which is not currently approved for operations in icing conditions. Gulf Helicopters currently operates five of the more than 70 AW189s in service worldwide. Deliveries of the AW189K will begin next year.
Subsequent to the development of the Aneto 1K, GE increased the service ceiling for CT7-2E1 engines on AW189 aircraft equipped with the core avionics phase 5.0 SW release (or later) and the altitude extension kit to 15,000 feet.