AW139 Helicopter Receives Full Ice Protection Certification <


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AW139 Helicopter Receives Full Ice Protection Certification

By Daniel Guevarra

February 22, 2010 - AgustaWestland announced the Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) for the AW139 medium twin helicopter has achieved EASA Certification. This allows the AW139 to fly into known icing conditions with unprecedented all weather capabilities no other helicopters in its category can claim. 

FIPS Certification, achieved following an intense series of trials performed in North America, aims at completing the process that makes the multirole AW139 suitable to operate in the most diverse and harsh environment conditions. With the EASA certification received, approvals in accordance with FAA as well as TCAA (Canada) requirements are expected to be obtained soon, as the entire FIPS test campaign has been conducted since the beginning under the supervision and with the constant involvement of EASA, FAA and TCAA.

The AW139 FIPS certification campaign has seen the helicopter flying both into artificial and natural ice, verifying flight characteristics and system performance. Tests in artificial icing conditions were performed with the support of a US Army CH-47 HISS (Helicopter Icing Spray System) simulating ice clouds.

During trials, the FIPS system has shown outstanding efficiency in ice protection, allowing the compliance to the stringent requirements. The AW139 helicopter has also demonstrated excellent flight performance and ample margins in a wide range of demanding icing conditions, well in excess of those normally encountered by helicopters in typical operating environments. 

The FIPS system is available as an option, and includes ice detectors, Automatic activation system with manual back up, electrical power generators, engine intakes protection grids, heated windshield and blades (main and tail rotor). 

The FIPS system keeps performance and procedures for Cat.A operations unchanged, and generates no restrictions during IFR operations, therefore expanding the already impressive AW139ís operational flexibility by providing real all-weather capability, as required in a growing number of applications, including offshore, search and rescue/emergency medical service, corporate transport and shuttle service.


AgustaWestland is a helicopter design and manufacturing company based in Italy and Somerset, in the United Kingdom. It was formed in July 2000 when Finmeccanica S.P.A. and GKN plc agreed to merge their respective helicopter subsidiaries (Agusta and Westland Helicopters) to form AgustaWestland with Finmeccanica and GKN each holding a 50% share. On May 26, 2004 GKN confirmed that it would sell its share to its partner for £1.06Bn. AgustaWestland is now a fully owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica of Italy.

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