The AgustaWestland AW169 helicopter has been issued with a type certificate by EASA, signalling the start of deliveries to customers. The aircraft is due to enter service fewer than five years after its programme was launched.
The 4.6 tonne AW169 is the first all new aircraft in its weight category to enter the market in more than 30 years. First units will be delivered from the Vergiate final assembly line in Italy. A second final assembly line is being established at AgustaWestland's Philadelphia plant in the USA, while its Yeovil plant in the UK plays a key role in the production of rotor blades and the tail rotor transmission system. The AW169 programme has benefitted from UK government support and is expected to find success in corporate transport and public service duties. A flight training device and a maintenance training simulator are already operational at the manufacturer's Sesto Calende training academy in Italy, while a Level D full flight simulator will be available in 2016.
Including framework contracts and options, more than 150 AW169s have been ordered by customers around the world to date for a wide range of applications including executive/corporate transport, air ambulance, law enforcement, offshore transport and utility roles. The aircraft is also able to carry out parapublic and government duties.
FAA certification is set to follow in the next few months.