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Friday, August 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: AW Upgrades A109 Family


AgustaWestland is developing a higher-performance version of its A109S Grand for the operator REGA Swiss Air Rescue

Zurich-based REGA is a pioneer among air rescue operators. In the early 1990s, Agusta developed the K2 variant of the A109 for it; among other things, that version replaced the A109’s Rolls-Royce Model 250s with higher-power Turbomeca Arriel 1K1s.

REGA previously has ordered eight Grands to equip its mountain rescue bases throughout Switzerland. AW also has selected Goodrich to supply rescue hoists for REGA’s Grands.

The upgraded ones may be called A109SPs.

In addition, AW’s upgraded AW119 Ke (Koala enhanced) has entered service with several operators in Europe and North America.

FAASA Aviación of Spain took delivery of its first two AW119 Kes in February. It has ordered eight for firefighting missions. Seacor is operating the AW119 Ke for offshore transport in North America as well as firefighting purposes. Switzerland’s Air Engiadina has added an AW119 Ke to its sightseeing, air taxi and VIP fleet.

The Ke features a maximum takeoff weight increased to 6,283 lb (2,850 kg), state-of-the-art design main rotor blades and an increased operational envelope. It has the useful load to carry six passengers with full fuel for a range of over 500 nm with reserves, according to AW.

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