HELI-EXPO, LOUISVILLE, Ky., 3 March 2016. The new AgustaWestland AW109 Trekker light twin-engine helicopter took its maiden flight, Finmeccanica officials announced at Heli-Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. The prototype aircraft took to the air for the first time, from the Helicopter Division’s Cascina Costa facility in Italy.
The helicopter performed as expected during the flight, which included an assessment of its general handling and basic systems. A total of two prototypes will be used for program development as it progresses toward European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification, which is expected by year end. Customers worldwide have ordered more than 20 units already, officials say.
The maiden flight marks a key milestone in the development of the new AW109 Trekker. Designed to provide the perfect solution for utility, public services, and aerial work operations, the AW109 Trekker maintains the same characteristics of high productivity, excellent flying qualities, high controllability and maneuverability, robustness, and high inherent safety features of the Finmeccanica Helicopter Division’s range of light twin helicopters.
First unveiled in February 2014 during Heli-Expo in Anaheim (California), the AW109 Trekker is the latest addition to the Finmeccanica Helicopter Division’s portfolio of AgustaWestland light twin-engine helicopters, and company’s first light twin to offer skid landing gear. With a maximum take-off weight of 3,175 kg (7,000 lb) and with a class leading speed of 168 knots (311 km/h), the AW109 Trekker delivers payload and performance and cost/effectiveness compared to the nearest competing types in the market.
The AW109 Trekker is equipped with a state-of-the-art glass cockpit and integrated avionics to allow maximized situational awareness and reduced pilot workload in any condition. The spacious cabin can accommodate up to six passengers or one stretcher with three/four medical attendants or two stretchers and two medical attendants. The AW109 Trekker can be easily configured for a wide range of roles and is the ideal solution for EMS, utility, SAR, law enforcement, surveillance, and passenger transport applications. Firm orders for over 20 AW109 Trekkers have been logged so far by customers in Europe, North America, and Asia to perform roles like emergency medical service and utility missions.
Finmeccanica is a global player in aerospace, defense, and security and Italy’s main industrial company. As a single entity from January 2016, organized into business Divisions (Helicopters; Aircraft; Aero-structures; Airborne & Space Systems; Land & Naval Defense Electronics; Defence Systems; Security & Information Systems), Finmeccanica operates in the most competitive international markets by leveraging its areas of technology and product leadership.
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