Agusta-Westland’s AW139 helicopter is undergoing icing tests as part of the limited icing certification it requires from the European Aviation Safety Agency for ‘cold blade’ operations.


To obtain the certification, the AW139 must be flown into both artificial and natural icing conditions which closely reflect actual operational conditions in the North Atlantic, one of the primary duty locations for the AW139 in the off-shore oil-field support role.


Helo 1
©Greg L. Davis



Agusta-Westland has contracted with the US Army Aviation Technical Test Center to carry out the artificial portion of the trials with its Boeing JCH-47D Chinook equipped with the Helicopter Ice Spray System (HISS). The HISS, which has been in use for over 30 years, is claimed to be the only ice-spray system of its type in the world.


The  HISS tests were completed in March, and natural icing tests should be completed by mid-April.