The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s AW189’s Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) clearing the way for the aircraft to operate in full icing conditions.
The EASA certification comes after three years of flight trials in Northern Europe and North America, during the winter months, to gather data and test the effectiveness of the system which includes electrically heated main and tail rotor blades, heated windscreens and an ice detection system. The standard AW189 helicopter already includes an engine air intake heating system. The system is fully automatic once switched on by the pilot, allowing the pilot to concentrate on other flying activities.
The FIPS is critical for operators flying in Northern Europe, Canada, Russia and the northern United States where icing conditions are common during the winter months. Almost 30 AW189s are today in service in demanding operational conditions in Europe, USA, Middle East and South East Asia.
The FIPS system is now available as an option on the AW189 and follows certification of the Limited Ice Protection System (LIPS) in September 2015. LIPS permits flight within a known and defined envelope of icing conditions provided with the capability to descend into a known band of positive temperature is available throughout the intended route.
The new 8.3/8.6 tonne AW189 is optimized for offshore transport and SAR missions.
The cabin is configured with 16 seats as standard with the option of a high density 19-seat layout. The cockpit design, incorporating the latest in advanced situational awareness technologies, reduces crew workload and enhances safety. The AW189 meets latest international regulatory safety requirements (EASA / FAA Part 29, JAR OPS 3 / EU-OPS) and is fully compliant with the latest requirements of the oil and gas producers’ helicopter operations guidelines.
The AW189 is having a 50 minute ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box for long range offshore operations.