Super AW139: weight rises, assembly time reduced

Super AW139: weight rises, assembly time reduced

The increase at 7,000 kg will not be the only feature of the latest evolution of the medium twin, which will borrow an important feature of another member of the AgustaWestland Family

New details emerge about the project at the new AgustaWestland Super AW139. The characteristics of the new evolution of the medium twin engine, as anticipated by Helipress, will focus not only on weight gain, which will increase to 7,000 kg. The new version of the AW139 will point it straight offshore market with some structural and technical measures aimed to reduce assembly time and better performance both in flight and on the ground. The Super AW139 will be presented at HAI Heli Expo 2015, scheduled in Orlando (Florida) in March 2015.

THE SUPER AW139 LEARNSFROM THE AW169: THE APU MODE

The Super AW139 will borrow from the cousin AW169 an important feature: the APU mode. It is a technology that allows the on-board electrical system (including air conditioning, lighting and electronic apparatus) to stay on even with rotors stopped. The technical department of AgustaWestland decided to borrow the technology of the last born of the Family on the responses of the aeromedical community, who expressed their approval of the possibilities offered by the APU mode.

The adoption of the APU mode has also been developed  for offshore operators, a segment characterized by long waiting times to the ground in conditions of heat and frost, in which the benefits of the APU mode will be more evident. The possibility of maintaining the cabin heated (or conditioned, depending on the application) and also the lights on rotor still is in fact a feature that can make a difference for offshore crews, often engaged in bad weather conditions.

SUPER AW139 MTOW INCREASED, AIRFRAME LIGHTENED

The increase in maximum takeoff weight to 7 tons will be curiously achieved through a diet. The tail section of the AW139 will be modified, as well as other parts of the airframe: the goal is to bring down the weight of the main elements to reduce assembly time and facilitate a possible increase in the production rate.

The retractable landing gear will be strengthened too, an operation required as a result of weight gain to 7 tons.

THE EC175 BETWEEN THE SUPER AW139 AND AW189

The arrival of the Super AW139 actually puts the new Airbus Helicopters EC175 in an awkward position. The Franco-German twin-engine medium, which will enter service later this year, will soon be harassed by the latest evolution of one of the most popular models in the world like the AW139 (700 in service) that, due to weight gain, will reach the same maximum takeoff weight of the EC175

The EC175, in this way, it will be tight  between the Super AW139 and AW189, what was supposed to be virtually its main competitors on the market.

Adv