AgustaWestland AW109

AW109 (A109)
Polish Air Ambulance A109 Power
Role SAR/utility helicopter
Manufacturer Agusta
First flight 4 August 1971
Primary users Italian Army
REGA (Swiss Air Rescue)
Royal Australian Navy
United States Coast Guard
Unit cost US$ 6.3 million
Variants AgustaWestland AW119
An Helisureste Agusta AW109S Grand
Agusta A109 K2 of the Rega over Mount Pilatus

The AgustaWestland AW109 (formerly Agusta A109) is a helicopter manufactured by Agusta (now AgustaWestland) of Italy. It is a light-weight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter. The AgustaWestland AW119 Koala is a single-engine development.


Design and development

In the late 1960s Agusta designed the A109 as a single-engined commercial helicopter. It was soon realised that a twin-engined design was needed and it was re-designed in 1969 with two Allison 250-C14 turboshaft engines. A projected military version (the A109B) was not developed and the company concentrated on the eight-seat version the A109C.[1] The first of three prototypes made its maiden flight on 4 August 1971.[2] A protracted development then followed and the first production aircraft was not completed until April 1975. Delivery of production machines started in early 1976. The aircraft soon became a success and was soon used for roles other than as a light transport including as an air ambulance and search-and-rescue. In 1975 Agusta returned again to the possibility of a military version and trials were carried out between 1976 and 1977 with five A109As fitted with Hughes Aircraft TOW missiles. Two military versions were then developed, one for light attack or close support and another for naval operations.

Fuselages of A109 are made by PZL-Świdnik. In June 2006 the 500th fuselage was delivered by this manufacturer, marking 10 years of co-operation between the two companies.[3]

The sale of the Agusta A109 to the Belgian armed forces in 1988 gave rise to a bribery scandal when it was alleged the company had given the Belgian Socialists over 50 million Belgian francs to get the sale. This scandal led to the resignation and conviction of NATO Secretary General Willy Claes.

In August 2008, Scott Kasprowicz and Steve Sheik broke the round-the-world speed record using a factory-standard AgustaWestland Grand, with a time of 11 days, 7 hours and 2 minutes.[4]


A U.S. Coast Guard MH-68A Stingray
Dyfed-Powys Police Air Support Unit Helicopter (X-Ray 99) Demonstration at Dyfed-Powys Police HQ Open Day 2008


Military operators

Belgian Air Component A109BA anti-tank variant
South African Air Force AW109LUH
Helinet Agusta A-109 over Los Angeles, California.
 People's Republic of China
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 United Kingdom

Former Military operators

 United States

Civilian and government operators

The Agusta A109E Power operated by CareFlight International Air Ambulance
 Saudi Arabia
 United Kingdom
 United States


Agusta A109 Power


Data from[12] [13]

General characteristics



(Agusta A109 LUH only)

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists


External links