|AW109 Trakker at Heli-Expo. By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief|
During Heli-Expo AgustaWestland introduced what CEO Daniele Romiti called the new member of the AW109 family, the light twin AW109 Trekker. Performers, whose representation of rugged dance, heralded the unveiling of the helicopter.
Geoff Hoon, managing director for international business, said that there had been market “pressure for a rugged, reliable and as cheap as it is going to be” helicopter. The production aircraft will be based on the cabin of the AW109 Grand.
Bob Price confirmed that the AW109 Trekker would be initially built at the company’s Philadelphia facility in the U.S., another addition to the already promised AW169. The aircraft would be certified this year and its first flight would be in 2015. Hoon said that customers had been pressurizing the OEM for a version of the AW109 with skids. —By Andrew Drwiega