FARNBOROUGH: AgustaWestland secures first UK EMS customer for the AW169

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AgustaWestland has scored its first UK air ambulance customer for its developmental AW169 twin-engined helicopter as the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust ordered a single example at the show.

The 4.5t intermediate twin is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2015. It will be operated on behalf of the trust by UK helicopter support and maintenance company Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) which committed to six of the aircraft at Farnborough 2012.

”[We] have been operating a 24/7 [emergency medical services operation] for over a year now and have learned considerably from nine months plus of full night-flying operations. One very clear, but not unexpected, lesson is that we need to replace one of our older MD Helicopters MD902s and increase our overall aviation capability for the longer term benefit of our patients,” says chief executive Adrian Bell.

AgustaWestland has secured over 120 orders for the AW169 since launching the type at Farnborough in 2010.