Third Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company AB139 Helicopter Takes Flight
AgustaWestland, November 07, 2001 - The third pre-production AB139 made its successful first flight on October 22, 2001, at Agusta's Vergiate plant in Italy. The certification program foresees a Tie Down Helicopter (TDH) and three pre-production aircraft. The TDH had started tests commencing in December 2000. The AB139's first flight took place on February 3, 2001, at Agusta's Cascina Costa plant in Italy, and with the second pre-production AB139 achieving its first flight on June, 4th, 2001, the flight test program is both well underway, on time and on budget.
The two pre-production aircraft have as of this point flown for a total of more than 100 hours. The flight program has provided excellent results, confirming or exceeding the estimated performances. These include a maximum continuous speed in excess of 157 knots, a maximum ceiling of 20,000 ft. and Hovering OGE at 12,000 ft., both at the maximum take-off weight of 6,000 kg. The maximum rate of climb achieved exceeded 2,200 ft/min. The AB139 IFR certification under JAR/FAR part 29 regulations will take place in 2002. First deliveries will follow. The AB139 has recorded more than 40 orders to date, with customers in Australia, Europe, Africa, the Far East and the Americas. Negotiations with additional customers are in progress.
Agusta AB139 I-EPIC ( Agusta Spa )
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