AW149 performs Its first flight
The first prototype of the AgustaWestland AW149 multi-role military medium twin helicopter successfully completed its maiden flight on 13 November at the Vergiate plant.
The aircraft, flown by AgustaWestland Chief Test Pilot Giuseppe Lo Coco, performed as expected undertaking a 20 minutes flight that included an assessment of the helicopter’s general handling and basic systems. The first helicopter will be followed by a second prototype in 2010 with the aim to achieve initial operational capability in 2014.
The first AW149 prototype is fully representative of the AW149 final configuration with respect to the airframe and avionics, whilst the second prototype will fly in the final configuration incorporating two 2000 shp class GE CT7-2E1 turbines with FADEC and an all new transmission system.
The AW149 has been developed to meet the Italian Air Force requirement for a new medium class SAR helicopter. The AW149 is also being offered in the marketplace to meet the demand for a modern technology helicopter to replace thousands of older generation helicopters in service with military operators worldwide. A customised version of the AW149, named the TUHP149, is the candidate for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Programme (TUHP).