Posted by John McHale
PARIS, 22 June 2011. Officials at AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, announced at the Paris Air Show that the company's AW139 helicopter will be getting a plethora of new avionics and flight technology such as Traffic Collision Avoidance System II (TCAS II), enhanced navigation capabilities, new helicopter deck clearances, and additional icing clearances. Company engineers also are in the process of obtaining certification of a satellite based augmentation system (SBAS) capability as well as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out system for the AW139. SBAS provides accurate position data that enables precision approaches to be flown using GPS/GNSS signals. The AW139 SBAS navigation system is compatible with the WAAS, EGNOS, and MSAS requirements. ADS-B enhances flight safety by making the aircraft visible in real time to air traffic control, and improves safety and because the controllers can guide aircraft with smaller separation standards.
Company officials received UK Civil Aviation Authority approval for the safety case report enabling the AW139 to operate from 16 meter by 16 meter helicopter decks at weights as much as the aircrafts maximum gross weight of 6,800 kilograms. AgustaWestland is also working on the approvals for a Limited Ice Protection System (LIPS) for the AW139 to expand use to areas such as operations in the North Sea. The system will include icing sensors, heated windshields, and other icing protection measures. It does not require the heated rotor blades and associated equipment of the Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) that is already used on the AW139 for continuous operations in icing conditions.