AgustaWestland, February 09, 2006 - AgustaWestland reported the 8th of February that their US139 aircraft, recently offered to fulfill the US ArmyÂ¹s requirement for a new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), has arrived at Cairns Army Airfield in Fort Rucker, Alabama for the LUH Source Selection Performance Demonstration (SSPD). The US139 flew from AgustaWestland facilities in Philadelphia, PA to Cairns Army Airfield, a 780 nautical mile flight.
The US139 flew at an average cruise speed of 140 knots, with a total time in route of five hours and fifty minutes. At take off in Philadelphia the US139 was at maximum gross weight of 14,110 lbs. The US139 flew at 6,500 feet and had a 10 knot headwind. Based on fuel consumption it could have flown 3.5 hours on one fuel load at maximum gross weight. "We are excited with the US139Â¹s arrival at SSPD and look forward to the aircraft demonstrating its superior capabilities first-hand to the customer," said Stephen C. Moss, chief executive officer of AgustaWestland North America. "We believe the SSPD will be the defining moment in the process to give the U.S. Army the LUH it needs and deserves the US139."
The US139 is a customized, non-developmental version of the modern, FAA-certified AB139 helicopter in service worldwide. Conceived out of a 1991 NATO Industrial Advisory Group study on a Future Light Battlefield Helicopter, the aircraft was designed from its inception to replace the UH-1 Huey and fulfill the Army LUH requirement. The US139 is fully compliant plus in that it meets all the requirements listed in the ArmyÂ¹s request for proposal and, in many cases, exceeds them. Containing significant inherent growth potential, the US139 has the flexibility to meet the demands of present and future LUH missions.
The Army new LUH will be used to perform and support a variety of missions, including: transportation of personnel and supplies, Generating Force Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC), homeland security, and civilian agency responses to natural disasters. Team US139 brings together the unrivalled design and innovation of AgustaWestland and the mission integration and logistical support expertise of L-3. Both companies have proven experience in the United States and supplying the United States Army. Prime contractor and helicopter designer AgustaWestland has over 50 years of experience in the U.S., including production and maintenance of U.S. Army helicopters, and is known worldwide for its superior aircraft design, performance, reliability, and quality. Principal partner L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, will perform final assembly of the US139 and provide contractor logistics support to the fleet. L-3 already provides contractor logistics support for approximately 40% of the U.S. Army aviation aircraft as well as a majority of training platforms used across the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Honeywell provides its modular, state-of-the-art Primus Epic Avionics and Pratt & Whitney will supply the twin, PT6C-67C engines.