AW189 completes first flight


AgustaWestland newest helicopter flies for the first time at Cascina Costa facility in Italy

AgustaWestland AW189AgustaWestland
announced that the first prototype of the AW189 twin engine 8-tonne class
helicopter successfully completed its maiden flight. The aircraft was launched
at the Paris Air Show earlier this year and this first prototype made its maiden
flight ahead of schedule.  AgustaWestland aims to achieve civil
certification for the AW189 in 2013 and to start deliveries in early 2014.

AW189 was flown by AgustaWestland chief test pilot Giuseppe Lo Coco at the
company’s Cascina Costa plant in Italy. It performed as expected
during the flight which included an assessment of the helicopter’s general
handling and basic systems. The first prototype will be used for avionic system
testing and certification of offshore equipment options, while the second
prototype, set to fly in 2012, will be dedicated to a load survey programme.

Spagnolini, chief executive officer, AgustaWestland said “Performing the first
flight of the new AW189 just a few months after its launch highlights our
strong commitment to providing the market with the most advanced helicopters in
the shortest possible timescales. We are delighted with the initial response
from the market with a number of leading operators having already committed to
buy the AW189 for long range offshore missions.”

continued “We are confident as we progress towards certification and production
that many more operators will select the AW189 as their new generation
helicopter for Search and Rescue, offshore transport and parapublic missions
due to its long-range capabilities, attractive operating costs and modern
safety features.”

Sales have already been secured from operators serving the
offshore oil and gas markets, including Bristow Helicopters, Bel Air and
Weststar Aviation Services.