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Guest Jeremy Law

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Guest Jeremy Law

Today AgustaWestland announced in a press conference that it will be using Heli-Expo 2011 as the official commercial launch for the AW169, based on the positive reception the model has received since its unveiling at Farnborough last year. Here's the mock-up that is being displayed at Heli-Expo (which, coincidentally, is right next to the Vertical booth):




A full report on the press conference will be included in Sunday's news items. AgustaWestland clearly thinks it has a winner in its 4.5-ton class, "light intermediate category" twin, which will be able to seat up to 10 passengers or accommodate two stretchers either longitudinally or transversely. (It fits in between the Grand New and the AW139 in the AgustaWestland commercial product line-up.) Here's a diagram showing some of the features AgustaWestland is touting:




(It's hard not to notice the emphasis on the 30-minute main rotor gearbox run-dry capability.)


AgustaWestland is now taking orders for the AW169, which is expected to receive certification in 2014. CEO Giuseppe Orsi made it clear, however, that the company is interested in purchase orders only, not options.


If you're at the show, be sure to check it out... from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday or Monday would be a good time, since the Vertical beer parties will be happening right across from it!


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