During the Dubai Air Show in November, AgustaWestland kept busy pushing the two newest members of its family of helicopters. The AW169, introduced at the 2010 Farnborough Air Show, and the AW189, unveiled at the 2011 Paris Air Show in June, are already finding success among operators worldwide, according to an AgustaWestland spokesman, who added that the two models will be heavily promoted at the upcoming 2012 Heli-Expo in February.
Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) has signed a preliminary contract for two of the 4.5-ton AW169s, becoming the first UAE-based operator of the new aircraft. FAS also ordered a GrandNew light-twin to go with the two Grand helicopters it already operates.
INAER, a global provider of emergency medical services, ordered 10 AW169s shortly after its commercial launch. Other customers include Capitale Helicoptere of Canada and Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance in the UK. Certification of the AW169 is expected in 2014, with first deliveries in 2015.
As for the AW189, Bond Aviation Group signed an MoU last September for a multi-year contract covering a range of AgustaWestland models, including the AW189. Bristow Group has signed for six AW189s as replacements for its aging helicopter fleet. First deliveries of the AW189 are projected for 2014. First flights for both the AW169 and 189 are on track to occur in 2012.
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Read the full story in the January print edition of Rotor & Wing and starting January 1 at www.rotorandwing.com.