The A-109 is a high performance twin helicopter, one of the most successful in its class during the course of its 25 year history.
The first of four A-109 prototypes flew on August 4 1971. VFR certification was awarded on June 1 1975 although series production had already begun in 1974. First production deliveries took place in late 1976. The helicopter was originally named Hirundo, but this name was later dropped. Single pilot IFR certification was granted in January 1977.
The base A-109A was superseded by the upgraded A-109A Mk.II from September 1981. Improvements incorporated in the Mk.II included a greater transmission rating, redesigned tailboom and a new tail rotor driveshaft, improved rotor blade life and modern avionics. The Mk.II is also available in widebody configuration with increased internal volume courtesy of bulged fuselage side panels and reshaped fuel tanks under the cabin floor. The Mk.II Plus has the more powerful 250-C20R1 engines, as does the A-109C. The 109C also has composite rotor blades.
The A-109K first flew in April 1983 and is powered by two 470kW (640shp) max continuous operation rated Turboméca Arriel 1K1 turboshafts. The latest A-109 model is the PW-206C powered (477kW/640shp takeoff rated) A-109E Power, which first flew on February 8 1995 and was certificated in August 1996. Based on the A-109K-2 it also features a strengthened landing gear and improved main rotor. The engines feature FADEC.
The A-109 has been developed into a number of mission specific configurations. Aside from executive transport it is used widely in medevac, police and patrol roles worldwide. Previously medevac configured A-109As were based on the standard airframe, but modifications engineered by the US firm Custom Aircraft Completions resulted in the A-109 Max, with transverse stretcher stowage and bulged side door transparencies.
A109A: The first production model, powered by two Rolls-Royce Model 250-C20 turboshaft engines. It made its first flight on 4 August 1971. Initially, the A109 was marketed under the name of ï¿½Hirundoï¿½ (Latin for the swallow bird) but this was dropped within a few years.
A109A EOA: Military version for the Italian Army.
A109A Mk II: Upgraded civilian version of the A109A.
A109A Mk.II MAX: Aeromedical evacuation version based on A109A Mk.II with extra wide cabin and access doors hinged top and bottom, rather than to one side
A109B: Unbuilt military version.
A109C: Eight-seat civil version, powered by two Rolls-Royce Model 250-C20R-1 turboshaft engines.
A109C MAX: Aeromedical evacuation version based on A109C with extra wide cabin and access doors hinged top and bottom, rather than to one side
A109D: One prototype only A109E Power Elite: stretched cabin version of A109E Power. This variant, which is operated by the RAF, has a glass cockpit with two complete sets of pilot instruments and navigation systems, including a three-axis autopilot, an auto-coupled Instrument Landing System and a satellite-based Global Positioning System. There is also a Moving Map Display, weather radar and a Traffic Alerting System.
A109LUH: Military LUH ï¿½Light Utility Helicopterï¿½ variant based on the A109E Power. Operators include South African Air Force as well as Sweden and Malaysia
MH-68A Stingray: Eight A109E Powers used by the United States Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville (HITRON Jacksonville) as short range armed interdiction helicopters.
A109K2: High altitude and high temperature operations with fixed wheels rather than the retractable wheels of most A109 variants. Typically used by police, search and rescue, and air ambulance operators
A109M: Military version.
A109KM: Military version for high altitude and high temperature operations.
A109KN: Naval version.
A109CM: Standard military version.
A109GdiF: Version for Guardia di Finanza, the Italian Finance Guard
A109BA : Version created for the Belgian Army.
AW109S Grand: Lengthened Cabin upgraded civilian version with two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207 engines.
CA109: Chinese version of A109, manufactured by Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation under license.
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