Agusta AB139 Helicopter Takes Flight
The Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company AB139 made its successful first flight on February 3, 2001
AgustaWestland, February 03, 2001 - The Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company AB139 made its successful first flight on February 3, 2001, at Agusta's Cascina Costa plant in Italy thus marking the entry into the development flight test activities.
Agusta Test Pilots Bruno Bellucci and Gabriele Zanazzo piloted the AB139 during the flight, with Flight Test Engineers Fiorenzo Mussi e Marco Montorfano on board.
This first flight lasted 45 minutes during which initial airworthiness tests, hovering, lateral and forward flight, handling qualities and subsystems checks were performed.
These initial tests, in which a continuous speed of 120 kt was easily achieved, have confirmed the excellent characteristics and the smoothness of this new medium twin helicopter whose performance will become a benchmark against which all other helicopters of this class will be confronted.
This major milestone was achieved just after 19 months from the unveiling of the AB139 mock-up at Paris Le Bourget '99.The AB139 IFR certification under JAR/FAR part 29 regulations will take place in 2002. First deliveries will follow.
In addition to Agusta, an AgustaWestland company, and Bell Helicopter, several leading international companies have collaborated, as risk-sharing partners, during the development phase leading to this successful event. This includes Pratt & Whitney of Canada, Honeywell of the USA, GKN Westland Aerospace of the UK, PZL Swidnik of Poland, Liebherr of Germany, Kawasaki of Japan, and others.
Agusta AB139 I-ACOI ( Agusta Spa )
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