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Monday, June 20, 2011

AgustaWestland Uncovers AW189 at Paris

By Andrew Drwiega, Military Editor

At the Paris Air Show on Monday Bruno Spagnolini, AgustaWestland's new CEO, with former CEO and now Finmecanica CEO Guiseppe Orsi, 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, and—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.

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. The AW189 will enter service in 2014.
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