HeliVert has announced that the first AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter assembled in Russia successfully performed its maiden flight. On December 18, 2012, the first AW139 built in Russia was rolled out at the Helivert assembly plant to perform ground testing. The next day, December 19, the test programme continued with the helicopter’s first lift-off and controlled hover. The new helicopter remained in the air for 37 minutes and completed the scheduled tests approved by Russia’s aviation authorities.
With the AW139’s first take off and hover completed successfully the helicopter is now undergoing the remaining flight test programme. A second aircraft to be assembled by HeliVert is expected to be in operation by February 2013.
HeliVert is located in Russian Helicopters’ National Helicopter Building Centre in Tomilino, Moscow region. It is expected that up to 15-20 helicopters will be assembled annually.
AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters signed the preliminary agreement to launch the production of AW139 helicopters in Russia at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2008. This was followed by the signing of a joint venture agreement November 6, 2008, at a ceremony attended by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
In the summer of 2011 the final agreements on CJSC HeliVert joint venture establishment were signed and early during 2012 specialists from HeliVert studied in Italy at AgustaWestland’s training centre.
The AW139 is the only helicopter in its weight class that can be equipped with a Full Ice Protection System (FIPS), which makes it possible to fly into known icing conditions. The helicopter can be configured for one or two pilots and can carry up to 15 passengers or 6-8 passengers in VIP/corporate transport configuration.