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Leonardo AW189

Medium-Lift Multirole Helicopter

Italy | 2014

"The AgustaWestland AW189 medium-lift helicopter has found several takers on the global market."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/10/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Sensing the growing market need for an all-modern, cost-effective medium-lift helicopter to serve in the offshore drilling service, the Italian concern of AgustaWestland is developing its impressive AW189 model. Based on the military AW149 product, the AW189 is intended for civil airspace as a passenger transport though it can be outfitted with optional equipment to suit various mission roles - indeed, AgustaWestland is marketing the AW189 series as a multirole type. With its crew of two, the aircraft can haul up to eighteen passengers some 230 miles at speeds exceeding 170 miles per hour. First flight of a prototype occurred on December 21st, 2011 and the product remains in development as of March 2014. The AW189 is already on order with seven countries including India, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The AW189 is powered by 2 x General Electric CT7-2E1 turboshaft engines developing 2,000 horsepower each. The fuselage sports a length of 57.8 feet with a rotor diameter measuring 48 feet and a height of 16.6 feet. Gross weight is listed at 18,300lbs. Its specifications place it as a bridge product between the intermediate-lift AW139 and medium-heavy-lift AW101 models in the AgustaWestland helicopter lineup.

The general appearance of the vehicle is a sleek one, incorporating a shallow nose cone ahead of a glazed cockpit. Vision is generally good out of both cockpit positions and sliding rectangular doors offer access to the passenger cabin. The cockpit and passenger cabin are separated by a solid wall for privacy and passenger comfort is expanded through use of cushioned seating, an in-flight entertainment system and air conditioning. The engines are mounted above the passenger cabin in the usual way and drive a five-bladed main rotor atop a short mast as well as a four-bladed tail rotor facing starboard. The undercarriage is retractable and consists of a traditional three-legged, wheeled arrangement.

The AW189 cockpit brings about use of FLIR (Foward-Looking Infra-Red), Night Vision Goggle (NVG) support, SATellite COMmunications (SATCOM), HF/V/UHF radio, AIS naval transponder, four-axis autopilot, a Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) solution and flight data recorders. There are four large, full-color Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) providing an all-glass approach (fitted in pairs ahead of both cockpit positions). Weather and search radars are also integrated into the design as is a Moving Map Display (MMD).

AgustaWestland is targeting the AW189 to offshore drilling companies where access to platforms requires use of a capable, reliable rotary-wing system. Range is, therefore, an important inherent quality of such a product and auxiliary fuel tanks are optional, added to the fuselage of the AW189 to help increase range. Additionally, the powerplant and airframe were designed with the rigors of over-water service in mind as well as the harsh environments to be encountered that come with such operating territory. For emergencies, the AW189 features an emergency flotation system (forced water landings) and an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for added piece of mind.

Beyond its offshore potential, the AW189 can also serve law enforcement and coast guard entities due to its inherent qualities. Available equipment includes life rafts, search lights, cargo hooks and fast-roping kits to suit the mission need. Its cabin can also be converted to serve as a MEDEVAC platform for litters and associated staff.

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February 2018 - The AW189K production model is expected to enter service in the Forth Quarter of 2018.

June 2020 - A version of the AW189, powered by Safran "Aneto" 1K engines, has achieved European certification (EASA) on June 8th, 2020.

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While traditional jobs involve workstations, office desks, or cubicles, aircraft provide operators with their own unique, ever-changing view of the world below.
Cockpit image
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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Leonardo AW189 Medium-Lift Multirole Helicopter.
2 x General Electric CT7-2E1 turboshaft engines developing 2,000 horsepower each driving a five-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.
174 mph
280 kph | 151 kts
Max Speed
230 miles
370 km | 200 nm
Operational Range
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 AW189 Medium-Lift Multirole Helicopter.
57.7 ft
17.60 m
O/A Length
47.9 ft
(14.60 m)
O/A Width
16.4 ft
(5.00 m)
O/A Height
17,637 lb
(8,000 kg)
Notable series variants as part of the Leonardo AW189 family line.
AW189 - Base Series Designation.
AW189K - Modernized variant.
AW149 - Military variant.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Leonardo AW189. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 75 Units

Contractor(s): Leonardo-Finmeccanica (AgustaWestland) - Netherlands / Italy
National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Denmark National flag of Egypt National flag of India National flag of modern Japan National flag of Malaysia National flag of Qatar National flag of Russia National flag of South Korea National flag of the United Arab Emirates National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States

[ Azerbaijan; Denmark; Egypt; India; Japan; Malaysia; Qatar; Russia; South Korea; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (174mph).

Graph Average of 150 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Leonardo AW189
Image courtesy of AgustaWestland marketing material; All Rights Reserved.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Leonardo AW189 Medium-Lift Multirole Helicopter.
Going Further...
The Leonardo AW189 Medium-Lift Multirole Helicopter appears in the following collections:
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