Leonardo AW 109 E Power Details
The AW109 is a lightweight twin-engine helicopter, known for its speed, elegant appearance, and ease of control. Since entering commercial service, several revisions and iterations have been made, frequently introducing new avionics and engine technologies. AgustaWestland has promoted the type for its multirole capabilities and serviceability. The type has proven highly popular with VIP/corporate customers; according to AgustaWestland, 50% of all the AW109 Power variants had been sold in such configurations. Other roles for the AW109 have included emergency medical services, law enforcement, homeland security missions, harbor pilot shuttle duty, search and rescue, maritime operations, and military uses. In 2008, AgustaWestland claimed the AW109 to be “one of the industry’s best-selling helicopters”.
A range of turboshaft powerplants has been used to power the numerous variants of the AW109, from the original Allison 250-C14 engines to the Turbomeca Arriel 1K1 and Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206 of more modern aircraft. Powerplants can be replaced or swapped for during airframe overhauls, resulting in increasing lifting capacity and other performance changes. In the case of single-engine failure, the AW109 is intended to have a generous power reserve even on a single-engine. The engines drive a fully articulated four-blade rotor system. Over time, more advanced rotor blade designs have been progressively adopted for the AW109’s main and tail rotors, such as composite materials being used to replace bonded metal, these improvements have typically been made with the aim of reducing operating costs and noise signature. According to Rotor&Wing, the type is well regarded for its “high, hot, and heavy” performance.