A 4.8t helicopter developed with twin engines. This is called the AgustaWestland AW169, which was manufactured by a helicopter division known as Leonardo. It was specifically made like the AgustaWestland AW139 and 189. This AW169 is one of the latest models of twin-engine helicopters, which has enduring performance.
AgustaWestland announced in July 2010 that AW169 was being developed. It weighs 4.5 tons with two engine rotorcraft exclusively designed for its operations. The British government (2011) approved the loanable amount to AgustaWestland in order for the AW169 to be developed. Another loan was approved by European Union (2012) for AW169’s development.
A testing program was implemented and soon received its FAA certification in 2016. In 2012, it was formally announced by AgustaWestland about their plan of reproducing AW169 in England. In 2015, AW169’s first production was done in Italy and followed by its second production in the USA. But in 2016, Leonardo abandoned the work.
AW169 is medium in size with two engines. It weighs around 4,500 kilograms and can accommodate from 7 to 10 passengers. It has digital maps, automatic surveillance, radar altimeters, a touchscreen interface, night vision goggles, and health monitoring systems. AW169 has an increased efficiency leading to a smooth experience.
It was reported that AW169 has customers from different sectors such as executives, law enforcers, utility sectors, and many more. To meet the needs of the passengers, AW169 was configured with a rescue hoist, external cameras, mission consoles, cargo hook, external loudspeakers and lighting arrangements, fuel tanks, emergency aid, and rappelling fittings.
AW169 has general characteristics. These specifications can be found in AW169 company brochures. Here are the following characteristics:
With a crew of one or two
Can accommodate 8 to 12 passengers and a cargo of 250 kilogram
Has a length of 48 ft and 1 inch
Has a width of 8 ft and 4 inches
Has a height of 15 ft
With a gross weight of 2,850 kilograms
With a maximum takeoff weight of 4 800 kilograms
Has powerplant of 2 x Pratt and Whitney PW210A
Its main rotor diameter is 12.12 meters.
Has a maximum speed of 306 kilometers per hour
Has a range of 820 kilometers
Has endurance of 4 hours and 20 minutes
AW169 is the overall name for this type. Other variants were named depending on their purpose. AW169M is the designation for multirole variant (UH-169A) which was ordered by an Italian and identified as Guardia di Finanza. Another variant of AW169 is known for the Italian Army. It is called a militarized variant.
Accidents and Incidents
In 2018, AW169, owned by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, crashed after its takeoff in the UK. It was destroyed, and five people in the helicopter died. Another AW169 crashed in its home base on March 27, 2021. This incident happened because of human error and caused damage to it. Good that all people in that AW169 were safe.
This AW169 is in response to emerging threats such as terrorism and other crimes. This helicopter complies with the requirements needed in terms of safety and overall performance. It features an advanced design to improve visibility as well as minimize fatigue of the pilot. Therefore, creating a more focused mission.