AgustaWestland Uncovers AW189; Targets Offshore and SAR Missions

By By Andrew Drwiega, Military Editor | August 1, 2011
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At the Paris Air Show in June, Bruno Spagnolini (below at left), AgustaWestland’s new CEO, with former CEO and now Finmecannica CEO Guiseppe Orsi (below at right), unveiled the AW189, a commercial civil version of its military AW149.

Described by Spagnolini as being the ‘ideal platform’ for global offshore and maritime SAR missions, as if to prove the point its launch platform mimicked a steel sheet landing platform complete with rusted brace supports and water underneath. Whether AgustaWestland put the water there or it fell complimentary from the heavens is open to discussion. The main feature of the weather during the first day of the airshow resembled the sweeping rain showers often experience by offshore rigs.

Photos by Andrew Drwiega

The AW189 is a twin-engine eight-ton class helicopter. Spagnolini said that the prototype will fly in Italy by November this year and that certification is projected during the end of 2013, probably six months after the military certification of the AW149. AW189 service entry is projected in 2014.

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