Monday, March 3, 2014

Test pilot trainings for AW-109 to be completed by end of 2014

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 3): Test pilot trainings for AW-109 to be completed by end of 2014

Test pilot training for fliers who will be teaching other officers to fly the AgustaWestland AW-109 "Power" helicopters will be completed before the end of 2014, said Philippine Navy (PN) spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic on Monday.

"Test pilot training will be completed by the end of the year," he said.

Fabic said the latter skills is needed to ensure that the Navy will have a qualified pool of instructors to teach new batches of pilots and test fly the aircraft once it comes out of maintenance or upgrades.

Training for the pilots and flight crews of the Navy's three brand-new AgustaWestland AW-109 "Power" helicopters is going smoothly.

Fabic said the training is being conducted by technical representatives of AgustaWestland.

Training started late December and will continue until the end of March.

The PN has around seven pilots assigned per AW-109 while flight crew for the helicopter is placed between 21 to 30 personnel.

During the above-mentioned period, pilots and their crews are taught to fly the aircraft, operate its various systems and how to maintain and keep the helicopters airworthy.

Fabic said the PN is pleased with the training support being extended by the manufacturers.

Aside from these, PN personnel are now undergoing training in the proper usage and deployment of the forward looking infrared (FLIR) and night vision equipment (NVG) which were installed in the aircraft.

"With its FLIR, the AW-109s have a more enhanced search-and-rescue capability than any of our existing aircraft. Also, it is fitted with a night vision gear making it very ideal to conduct missions during the night-time," Fabic said earlier.

FLIR uses an imaging technology that senses infrared radiation.

The sensors installed in forward-looking infrared cameras -- as well as those of other thermal imaging cameras -- use detection of infrared radiation, typically emitted from a heat source (thermal radiation), to create a "picture" assembled for video output.

The AW-109 "Power" helicopter is a three-ton class eight seat helicopter powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW206C engines.

The spacious cabin is designed to be fitted with a number of modular equipment packages for quick and easy conversion between roles.

The aircraft’s safety features include a fully separated fuel system, dual hydraulic boost system, dual electrical systems and redundant lubrication and cooling systems for the main transmission and engines.

The AW-109 has established itself as the world’s best selling light-twin helicopter for maritime missions.

It's superior speed, capacity and productivity combined with reliability and ease of maintenance make it the most cost effective maritime helicopter in its class.

For shipboard operations the aircraft has a reinforced-wheeled landing gear and deck mooring points as well as extensive corrosion protection measures.

The ability to operate from small ships in high sea state enables the AW-109 to perform its mission when many others helicopters would be confined to the ship’s hangar.

Over 550 AW-109 "Power" and AW-109 light utility helicopters have been ordered for commercial, parapublic and military applications by customers in almost 50 countries.

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