Aviation & Aerospace Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks U.S. Military Pay Special Forces DoD Dictionary (Alpha-to-Zulu) Military Alphabet Code

Leonardo AW139

Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter

Italy | 2003

"AgustaWestland introduced their AW139 medium-lift product in 2003 with production totaling over 700 units since."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/14/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The AgustaWestland model AW139 is a modern medium-lift, multi-purpose/multi-role rotary-wing product offered for both military and civilian service by the Italian-based concern. The product was originally born through a joint Italian-American venture as AgustaWestland and Bell joined to form the Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company and offer the "AB139" as a replacement for Bell's venerable - though aging - family of UH-1 "Huey" related transports. When Bell pulled from the program, the product was redesignated as the AW139 and went on to achieve considerable market success with over 700 units sold into 2013. First flight of a prototype was on February 3rd, 2001 and the AW139 was officially introduced in the AgustaWestland product line in 2003.

With its military-/civilian-minded design approach, the AW139 has proven useful in a variety of roles - having been configured for Search and Rescue (SAR), VIP transport, general passenger transport, offshore rig personnel transport, border patrolling, maritime support, police, firefighting and coast guard duties. Military operators include Cyprus, Egypt, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Nigeria, Panama, Qatar, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Civilian operators include Australia, Canada, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the United States.

The AB139/AW139 program received its start in 1997 and this evolved into the joint partnership with Bell the following year. The initiative also produced the developmental BA609, a tilt-rotor, civilian-minded passenger transport concept.

Outwardly, the AW139 is a decidedly AgustaWestland design with its low-set nose assembly, large window panes and high-mounted tail stem. Two engines are housed in compartments fitted above the passenger cabin with the two-person cockpit conventionally at the front. Sliding doors allow for passengers to embark/disembark as needed while hinged automobile-style doors manage entry/exit for the pilots. The main rotor is sat upon a low mast and consists of a five-bladed composite design. The tail rotor is of a four-bladed design and faces starboard. The undercarriage is wholly-retractable and includes pair of single-wheeled main legs along with a two-wheeled nose leg.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Internally, the pilot positions feature dual controls and the instrument panel is dominated by four large, full-colored customizable information screens split by a fifth management screen at center. The seats are themselves divided by a center console containing additional controls. Vision out of the cockpit is excellent due to the largely windowed natured of the AW139's design. The passenger cabin can be arranged to seat up to 15 people while the internal arrangement can be set up to accept medical litters, rescue hoist equipment o r other mission-related systems depending on customer requirements.

The AW139 is powered by 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67C turboshaft engines developing 1,530 horsepower each while driving the five-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor. Maximum listed speed is 193 miles per hour with a range out to 570 miles. The helicopter supports a service ceiling up to 20,000 feet and features a rate-of-climb of 2,140 feet per minute.

The AW139 has since been offered in a few major notable variants beginning with the original AB139 model of which 54 units were manufactured under the joint AgustaWestlant/Bell label. Following Bell's departure from the 55th airframe onwards, the product fell under the revised designation of "AW139". A subvariant of this mark became a new "long nose" form featuring a lengthened nose assembly to house additional avionics equipment. The AW139, in its fully-militarized form, then became the "AW138M" and this model was adopted by the Italian Air Force as the SAR-minded HH-139A. VIP marks are designated as VH-139A. Further production of AW139s will now stem from the joint Italian-Russian venture out of Tomilino in Russia (under license).

The successful AW139 has gone on to influence two other notable AgustaWestland products - the AW149 and AW189. The AW149 is marketed as a medium-lift helicopter for military customers (no customers as of October 2013) and the AW189 is a similar medium-lift class system though intended for the civilian passenger market (in development as of October 2013). AgustaWestland is also working on the smaller AW169 passenger model and supports it definitive military attack platform - the A129 "Mangusta" for the Italian Army.

Qatar fields a fleet of 21 AW139s through its Emiri Air Force branch making it one of the largest foreign operators of the type.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

November 2017 - Abu Dhabi Aviation has signed a deal with Leonardo to continue support of its various SAR and medical service helicopters.

September 2019 - Leonardo has delivered its 1,000th production example of the AW139 medium twin helicopter, this to the Italian Guardia di Finanza police force.

September 2020 - Leonardo will be marketing its AW139 helicopter towards a standing Polish requirement seeking to replace an aging fleet of W-3 Sokol utility types. The company currently works with Poland's PZL-Swidnik on other aviation-related projects.

December 2020 - Leonardo has delivered the first HH-139B helicopter to the Italian Air Force. The initial unit will make up a total of 17 for the service.

January 2021 - The nation of Colombia has taken on the AW139 for the Presidential/VIP transport role, announced on January 11th, 2021. Deliveries are set to begin in the early-to-middle part of 2021.

January 2022 - The Malaysian Air Force has received the first two of four AW139 helicopters from Leonardo.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Leonardo AW139 Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter.
2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67C turboshaft engines developing 1,530 horsepower each driving four-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor (facing starboard side).
193 mph
310 kph | 167 kts
Max Speed
20,013 ft
6,100 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
659 miles
1,060 km | 572 nm
Operational Range
2,140 ft/min
652 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Leonardo AW139 Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter.
45.2 ft
13.77 m
O/A Length
45.3 ft
(13.80 m)
O/A Width
12.2 ft
(3.72 m)
O/A Height
7,981 lb
(3,620 kg)
Empty Weight
14,110 lb
(6,400 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Leonardo AW139 Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter .
Typically none. Militarized forms optionally fitted with 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs) for suppression.
Notable series variants as part of the Leonardo AW139 family line.
AB139 - Initial Production Model; 54 examples produced.
AW139 - Base Series Designation beginning at aircraft 55 and onwards.
AW139 (Long Nose) - Lengthened fuselage variant for US- or Italian-based avionics.
AW139M - Militarized Armed Variant.
HH-139A - Search & Rescue Variant based on AW139M model for Italian Air Force.
HH-139B - Italian Air Force variant of 2020.
VH-139A - VIP variant for Italian Air Force; 2 examples converted from AW139 models.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Leonardo AW139. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 720 Units

Contractor(s): Leonardo-Finmeccanica (AgustaWestland) - Italy
National flag of Australia National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Canada National flag of Colombia National flag of Cyprus National flag of Egypt National flag of Estonia National flag of Ireland National flag of Italy National flag of Lebanon National flag of Malaysia National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Nigeria National flag of Portugal National flag of Qatar National flag of Spain National flag of Thailand National flag of the United Arab Emirates National flag of the United States

[ Australia; Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; Canada; Colombia; Cyprus; Egypt; Estonia; Ireland; Italy; Lebanon; Malaysia; Malta; Netherlands; Nigeria; Portugal; Qatar; Spain; Thailand; Trinidad and Tobago; United Arab Emirates; United States ]
1 / 1
Image of the Leonardo AW139
Image from AgustaWestland marketing material; All Rights Reserved.

Going Further...
The Leonardo AW139 Medium-Lift Utility Helicopter appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)