AB139 Begins US Certification Flying
AgustaWestland, December 20, 2002 - The AB139 medium twin helicopter, one of Texas-based Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company's two products, arrived in the USA on December 16th 2002. Equipped with Honeywell's Primus Epic integrated control and display system, this aircraft, #3, will continue certification testing at Honeywell's facilities at Phoenix, Arizona this month. The arrival in the U.S. of this AB139 for the testing program represents an important milestone in the aircraft's development and manufacturing process.
With numerous orders already placed for the AB139, FAA certification is expected in 2003 and initial deliveries will be made soon after to civil and commercial customers. Current orders have established a two-year backlog for the aircraft. While the AB139 did fly at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2002, this is the first time it has flown in the USA. BAAC officials view this as an opportunity for potential US customers to physically view the aircraft as it moves through the certification program.
The AB139 was recently selected by Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture established by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, as the VRS (VTOL Recovery and Surveillance Aircraft) solution for the US Coast Guard's Deepwater program. In addition to the USCG, a number of US Government Agencies are showing a keen interest in this new state of the art medium twin-engine helicopter that brings new levels of speed, comfort, reserve power and space for crew, passengers and survivors alike. These features make the AB139 ideally suited for Law Enforcement operations whether overland or at sea, as does its fully integrated Honeywell Primus Epic System cockpit and display providing for either single or dual pilot IFR operations.
Agusta AB139 I-EPIC ( Agusta Spa )
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