Origins[ edit ] A corporate transport AW In , the Italian helicopter manufacturer Agusta launched a programme to develop a replacement for the Bell Huey family of helicopters which had been built in very large numbers by Bell Helicopter and under license by Agusta. A potential market of aircraft was predicted. The first preproduction helicopter flew on 3 February at Vergiate in Italy,   with two further AWs also participating in flying trials. By May , the AW had received in excess of orders worldwide. It was promoted at the US market, including for the U. The AWM is equipped with a high definition forward-looking infrared FLIR , self-protection system, heavy-duty landing gear, and has low thermal and acoustic signatures; a significant proportion of the equipment is sourced from American manufacturers.
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Following the sale, the helicopter was renamed AW in February The AW is available in both civil and military configurations and is capable of carrying up to 15 passengers or 2,kg 5,lb useful load. Civil applications include passenger transport, law enforcement, utility and offshore oil support. Other roles include search and rescue SAR , cargo lift and firefighting.
As of June , more than AW helicopters were delivered and more than are in service in around 50 countries. The first AW built at the new facility was delivered in December A second assembly line was added in February All parts and components for both lines come from the same sources and the aircraft is identical whether assembled in Italy or in the US. Italian certification was granted in June and US certification in December The first AW helicopter was delivered to Elilario of Italy in March and the second to the government of Namibia in September The AW was selected by more than customers for more than helicopters.
The th AW helicopter was delivered in December The increased payload will make the AW more efficient for long-range offshore transport and search and rescue SAR operations. The increased MGW will be available on all new production aircraft as an option and as a retrofit. The Korean Coastguard ordered a third AW helicopter in the maritime patrol configuration in December Bristow Group received two of the helicopters during the ceremony held at Philadelphia facility in December Italian Guardia di Finanza received its second aircraft in January , the first was delivered in mid The US coastguard decided to upgrade the HH rather than procure new helicopters.
The AW military version is capable of carrying up to 15 troops or six stretchers with four medical attendants. It can be fitted with gun pods, rocket launchers and air-to-air missiles attached to two removable external supports.
The AWM features self-protection equipment such as infrared detection, armoured seats to improve crew protection and blast-resistant self-sealing fuel tanks. AW design A five-bladed fully-articulated main rotor with four-bladed canted tail rotor gives high tail rotor ground clearance, heavy-duty nose-wheel tricycle landing gear is retractable for higher speed.
Full crashworthy systems and seats are standard while an icing protection system is optional. Low noise signature, high-speed refuelling is possible from either side. The large baggage compartment 3. The system architecture is built on two modular avionics units MAUs that house the processing for most of the functions within the system.
By integrating the functions into an MAU, powerful computer processing can be shared to do multiple tasks that previously required individual computer platforms. The system features a powerful central maintenance computer function that will provide operators with a high level of troubleshooting and system maintenance support. Maintenance personnel may use the cockpit displays or a laptop computer to perform aircraft rigging, sensor calibration and avionics systems diagnostics. Due to the power reserve of the engines, a safe flight is ensured with one engine inoperative OEI at maximum take-off weight.
AW performance The AW helicopter can climb at a rate of The maximum range and service ceiling of the helicopter are 1,km and 6,m. The maximum endurance of the helicopter is five hours 56 minutes. The AW weighs around 3,kg and the maximum take-off weight is 6,kg. Companies Involved.