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First AW139 helicopter assembled in Russia performs maiden flight

AW139 helicopter. Photo: Russian helicopters.

MOSCOW (BNS): The first AW139 helicopter assembled in Russia has successfully performed its maiden flight and the second aircraft to be assembled by HeliVert is expected to be in operation by February 2013.

On December 19, 2012, the first AW139 built in Russia was rolled to perform ground testing. The new helicopter remained in the air for 37 minutes and completed the scheduled tests approved by Russia's aviation authorities.

The AW139's first take off and hover was successful, and the helicopter is undergoing the flight test programme, according to HeliVert, a Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland joint venture company.

AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters signed the preliminary agreement to launch the production of AW139 helicopters in Russia at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2008 which was followed by the signing of a joint venture agreement.

The medium multi-role helicopter AW139, powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67C turboshaft engines, has maximum cruise speed of 306 km/h, maximum range in excess of 927 km, maximum flight time of five hours and outstanding performance. It can be equipped with a Full Ice Protection System (FIPS).

The maximum take-off weight is 6400 kg with an option of 6800 kg. The helicopter is configured for one or two pilots and can carry up to 15 passengers or 6-8 passengers in VIP/corporate transport configuration.

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