• matthisarrivet

The AW139 celebrates its 20th anniversary !

Helicopter on the tarmac of an airport performing a ground test.
Malaysian AW139 doing a ground test at Subang airport in Kuala Lumpur

The medium helicopter AW139 first flew 20 years ago today. Since this milestone, more than 1,000 models were delivered around the world. The success of this machine comes from its versatility, being able to fullfill various missions such as Offshore, VIP, HEMS, Firefighting, SAR, Maritime Patrol, and so on.

Although it is a huge success, the begining was quite difficult. The AW139 was co-developped with Bell Helicopters, which withdrew from the project in 2005, 2 years after the 139's enter into service.

Leonardo saw the potential in the airframe and derived the AW139 in two variants, the AW149, a super medium military helicopter, and the AW189, the civil version of the AW149.

The future will tell us if the variants get as much attention as the 139 !

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