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Leonardo AW139
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OY-HSN AgustaWestland AW139 c/n 31129 - Atlantic Airways - Den Helder Airport in Holland - 6 November 2008 Den Helder-de Kooy (EHKD)

The AgustaWestland AW139 is a medium-weight multi-role utility twin-turboshaft Transport Category helicopter in the 6-tonne class, accommodating 12 to 15 passengers and 1 or 2 crew. The AW139 is an all new designed conventional configuration helicopter with 5-bladed main rotor, 4-bladed tail rotor and retractable undercarriage, with provision for up to 15 passengers in a high-density layout. The AW139 has a 'glass cockpit. Development of the aircraft started in 1998 as a new helicopter in the six ton category. The aircraft was originally designed and developed jointly by Agusta and Bell Helicopters and marketed as the Agusta-Bell AB139, although Bell subsequently withdrew from the project. PZL-Swidnik as a partner in the AW139 programme assisted in the design of the central fuselage of the aircraft and manufactured the first prototype airframe in April 2000. The AW139 is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67C turbine engines. The marketing was officially started at the International Paris Airshow in June 1999. The first prototype or pre-production AB139 ( 01 c/n 31001) made its maiden flight at the Agusta Cascina Costa di Samarata plant in Italy, on 3 February 2001. The first production AB139 aircraft (c/n 31004) flew first on 24 June 2002. The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) certification was awarded on 18 June 2003 and US certification on 20 December 2004. In November 2005, Bell sold its stake in the AB139 programme to AgustaWestland and the helicopter is marketed since as AgustaWestland AW139. On 9 July 2007, the EASA Type Certificate Data Sheet for the Agusta AB139 was changed. As stated in the TDCS AW139 and AB139 are two names for the same product. The first two production aircraft had a triple screen display cockpit, but all following aircraft have had a 4-display cockpit configuration as standard. In March 2004, the AB139 entered customer service with Elilario Italia, that leased AB139 c/n 31005 I-ROCS from Agusta Elicotteri. Next to the Agusta Vergiate Production Line AW139 productionline, Agusta Aerospace Corporation opened an assembly line in Philadelphia (PA), USA. The AW139 airframe is manufactured by PZL-Swidnik in Poland. The AB139 designation is used for c/n 31001 up to c/n 31054, whereas the AW139 designation is used from c/n 31055 onwards. c/n 31201 onwards is used for the AW139 Long Nose configuration. c/n 41001 onwards is used for the A.A.C. Philadelphia Production Line. A 50-50 joint venture between AgustaWestland and Oboronprom, a Russian investment group creates an AW139 assembly line near Moscow. Over 860 AW139 helicopters have now been ordered by over 200 customers from more than 60 countries all over the world performing many tasks including VIP/corporate transport, passenger shuttle services, offshore transport, EMS/SAR, law enforcement, fire fighting and troop transport with civil operators, government agencies. Over 750 AW139s have been delivered. In a bid to capture a greater share of the long-range offshore transport market, AgustaWestland has increased  the maximum MTOW to 6.800kg for the latest models of the AW139, 400kg more than the earlier models.

AgustaWestland used test-registration I-EASY for the 2008-built AW139 c/n 31129. The airframe was designated for Atlantic Airways, Faroer Islands, and configured for 12 or 15 seat layouts for both public passenger transport and offshore passenger transport operations. On 15 April 2008, was the hand-over of the aircraft during an official ceremony held at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate plant. The helicopter was registered OY-HSN on 19 June 2008. The AW139 was not delivered to the Faroer Islands, but leased back to AgustaWestland. In October 2008, Atlantic Airways signed a contract with Heli Holland Offshore regarding wet lease of their AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter. On 23 October, AW139 OY-HSN was delivered to the Netherlands. The aircraft was operated from Den Helder Airport during the lease contract. After the lease contract with Heli Holland Offshore expired, the OY-HSN returned to Italy on 29 April 2009. In June 2009, the OY-HSN was leased to Bel Air and operated out of Odense in Denmark. In October 2010, Atlantic Airways sold the aircraft to Wiking Helicopter Service and registration OY-HSN was cancelled on 13 January 2011. AgustaWestland AW139 c/n 31129 was registered D-HOAB with Wiking Helicopter Service GmbH, Wilhelmshaven, Germany, on 3 February 2011. Registration D-HOAB was cancelled in March 2012 and the AW139 was restored to the Danish register and temporarely registered OY-HSN with Atlantic Airways, Vagar Airport, Faroe Islands, as operator and KBC Lease (Deutschland) GmbH & Co. KG as owner, on 30 March 2012. Registration OY-HSN was cancelled as exported to Germany on 18 December 2012 and the helicopter was restored as D-HOAB with Wiking Helicopter Service GmbH on 31 January 2013.

page last updated: 02-02-2015
Photo Copyright © Peter Hop, Den Helder, the Netherlands

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