AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, announced Thursday at the Airborne Law Enforcement Association’s Annual Conference that the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has signed for a third AW139 medium-twin helicopter. This aircraft will join the two AW139s already in service performing critical aerial fire-fighting, medevac and search and rescue missions in Los Angeles and the surrounding communities. This aircraft will be produced at AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania production facility.
“Los Angeles Fire Department is at the forefront of aerial fire-fighting tactics, we are honoured to be part of this internationally recognized team and the confidence they place in the AW139 every day,” said Louis Bartolotta, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Americas.
LAFD initially selected the AW139 based on a number of criteria, which included safety, economy, performance and capability. This most recent selection confirms the AW139´s unique characteristics to successfully accomplish aerial fire-fighting, medevac and search and rescue missions with excellent performance and operational effectiveness, state-of-the-art avionics and industry leading safety levels, while remaining the best value on the market today.
Battalion Chief Joseph Foley said, “We believe the AW139 is simply the best value helicopter in terms of performance and capability. We can respond faster with increased loads in an aircraft that exceeds current safety standards.”
Since 2007, the AW139 has been deployed as a fire-fighting platform, expanding the number of public services applications, which includes homeland security, emergency medical service, search and rescue and airborne law enforcement. Other customers for fire-fighting AW139s include the Gangwon Fire Fighting Department in the Republic of Korea and the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department.
In service since 2003 and with over 430 aircraft sold in more than 40 countries to almost 120 customers worldwide the AW139 continues to set new standards in the medium twin market. In North America around 20 customers have ordered over 100 AW139s. It is the fastest helicopter in its class with a maximum cruise speed of 167 knots and the only medium twin-engine helicopter in production that not only meets, but also exceeds, the latest FAR 29 certification standards for safety.