The first production AW189 8 tonne class twin engine helicopter performed its maiden flight at Vergiate plant in Italy today. The aircraft is expected to be delivered to Bristow Helicopters Ltd. by year end to carry out offshore transport missions in the North Sea, with operational readiness planned in early 2014. Additional two AW189 helicopters are currently under assembly in Vergiate.
Completing the very first AW189 which will enter operational service is a tremendous programme achievement to AgustaWestland and to Bristow.
A second AW189 final assembly line is being established at AgustaWestland's Yeovil facility in the UK, which will initially build the AW189 helicopters that will be used for the UK's new Search and Rescue service.
The AW189 Type Board Meeting, the most important milestone in the completion of the Type Certification activities, was successfully held at the EASA headquarters in Cologne on the last week of September.
With many orders by a number of major customers already logged to date, this will be just the first of hundreds of AW189s to be delivered in the coming years.