AW119Kx reaches 24,000 feet in high altitude testing

26 September 2016 08:30

An AgustaWestland AW119Kx multi-role single engine helicopter, part of Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s test and demonstration fleet in Philadelphia, carried out the trials campaign to extend the flight envelope from 15,000 ft. (actual certification limit) to 24,000 ft.

Achieving these altitude targets will expand opportunities for sales of the aircraft to commercial and government operators across the world.

Flying 1,500 miles from Philadelphia and reaching Leadville, Colorado in two days, the test activities allowed the AW119Kx to perform in the very demanding hot and high conditions from mid-August through mid-September.

The flight test program included performance tests such as hovering (both IGE and OGE), cruise, rate of climb and autorotation. The aircraft was fully instrumented for the flight test to include an instrumentation boom. High altitude performance flights included take-offs and landings at 14,880 ft. density altitude and flights at 24,000 ft. pressure altitude.The AW119Kx demonstrated significant power index margins, highlighting outstanding performance and handling capabilities in an extremely challenging environment. This latest achievement confirms the outstanding capabilities of the AW119Kx and contributes to the strength of the aircraft across a range of roles and geographies with an ever-increasing market potential.

The program now awaits EASA certification, and FAA validation, of the flight envelope expansion.

Over 250 AW119 helicopters have been ordered to date in more than 30 countries by over 100 customers. The latest AW119Kx variant is perfectly suited to perform many roles, including EMS, executive/private transport, utility, fire-fighting, law enforcement, and government duties.