Photo: flyingmag.comReading Time: 2 minutes
Finmeccanica announced the maiden flight of the new AgustaWestland AW109 Trekker light twin engine helicopter. A prototype aircraft took to the air for the first time today at the Helicopter Division’s Cascina Costa facility (Italy), flown by pilots Giuseppe Afruni and Giuseppe Segreto.
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 the programme development as it progresses towards EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification, which is expected by year end.
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 class leading AgustaWestland light twin-engine helicopters, and company’s first light twin to offer skid landing gear. With a maximum takeoff weight of 3,175 kg (7,000 lb) and with a class leading speed of 168 knots (311 km/h), the AW109 Trekker delivers outstanding 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.