The contract was signed by Henk Schaeken, Group Managing Director of Specialist Aviation Services at the Farnborough International Airshow. The helicopters will amongst others be used for emergency services missions with deliveries commencing in 2015. Contracts for more than 60 AW169s have now been signed by customers worldwide since its commercial launch in February 2011.
Emilio Dalmasso, Senior Vice President Commercial Business Unit, AgustaWestland, said “We are delighted that Specialist Aviation Services, a leader in the UK emergency services market, has chosen the new generation AW169 to meet its future requirements as it moves up to a 4.5 tonne category helicopter. We believe the AW169 with its new technology, exceptional performance and the latest safety features is set to become the class leader and the selection of the aircraft by Specialist Aviation Services confirms that the AW169 is ideally suited for a wide range of parapublic missions.”
Henk Schaeken, Group Managing Director, Specialist Aviation Services, said “The AW169 perfectly matches the developments in specific parts of our market and supports the views we have for the future direction and markets of the company. The expanded capability and versatility offered by the AW169 and the support provided by AgustaWestland were key to our decision. We plan to engage our customers in the development phase of the aircraft to ensure it fully meets their requirements and we look forward to working with AgustaWestland to introduce the aircraft into our fleet.”
A versatile, new generation twin engine light intermediate category helicopter, the AW169 has been designed in response to the growing market demand for an aircraft that delivers high performance, meets all the latest safety standards and has multi-role capabilities. The 4.5 tonne AW169 incorporates several new technology features to provide the highest levels of safety and operational benefits for its customers. New generation technologies are incorporated in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems.
The first AW169 performed its maiden flight on 10th May 2012 on schedule and civil certification is expected in 2014. The AW169 is set to be the most advanced and cost effective helicopter in its class for EMS, SAR, law enforcement, corporate and offshore transport missions. The AW169 is part of the AgustaWestland family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW189 models, which posses the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as sharing a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept. This commonality will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4 to 8.5 tonne categories.
The Specialist Aviation Services Group comprises Police Aviation Services Ltd and Medical Aviation Services Ltd and European Support Centre bvba in Belgium. The Gloucestershire, UK based group supports public service and other specialist operations - providing aircraft, pilots, maintenance, modifications and training around the world. Amongst over 30 aircraft of various types which SAS operates or maintains, there are 15 air ambulances and 13 police helicopters. For more information visit specialist-aviation.com/.