Elitaliana signed a preliminary sales contract for two AW109 Trekker light twin engine helicopters in Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) configuration. The medevac choppers are planned to be deployed on new locations besides the Elitaliana’s current bases in the Lazio and Calabria regions of Italy. The deal was announced on 16 July 2014.
Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2016. The contract marks the entrance of the new AW109 Trekker into the HEMS market as well as into the European helicopter market. Elitaliana already operates the AW109 Power and Grand light, and it has ordered six new generation AW169s.
Unveiled at Heli-Expo in March 2014, the AW109 Trekker is the latest addition to Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland’s portfolio. The chopper can be equipped with skid landing gear, which come of very handy in snowy conditions. It has a maximum take-off weight of 7,000 lbs (3,175 kg) but can once in flight be operated at 7,055 lbs (3,200 kg) with external loads or with 3,306 lbs (1,500 kg) of internal load. The cruising speed is 160 knots (296 kmh).
The AW109 Trekker is equipped with a state-of-the-art Garmin G1000HTM glass cockpit. Power is provided by two FADEC equipped Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207C engines. The cabin can accommodate up to six passengers or one stretcher with three or four medical attendants or two stretchers and two medical attendants.
Established in 1964, Elitaliana provides 24 hour a day emergency medical services, its missions also include SAR, utility and passenger transport performed by two AW109 Power and four Grand light twin helicopters. In 2011 and 2013 Elitaliana also signed preliminary sales contracts for a total of six new generation AW169 4.5 ton class light intermediate helicopters.
Flying SAR mission in Italy can be quite stunning, as Airheadsfly.com reported earlier.