What is shiny, sleek and eye catching?
An Augusta-Westland AW139 freshly painted in the livery of Ambulance Victoria.
Australian Helicopters has been awarded a contract to supply 6 Augusta-Westland AW139 helicopters, with operations expected to commence in January 2016.
The new choppers will be based at Essendon, Warnambool, Latrobe Valley and Bendigo, with the luxury of having a back up helicopter to cover routine maintenance and additional resource requests.
The standard helicopter is powered by 2 Pratt and Whitney PT6C-67C turbine engines allowing a maximum take off weight of 14,110 pounds and a rate of climb of 2,140 feet per second.
The AW139 has a passenger capacity of 15 people in its “normal” commercial configuration with a cruise speed of 165 knots and a range of 675 nautical miles.
In the Ambulance configuration the AW139 is able to transport up to two stretcher patients, if required. Each helicopter will be equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, patient transport and search/rescue equipment, including a winch and a Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) camera.
Over the last 12 months Australian helicopters has been awarded contracts for fire fighting services in South Australia and Rescue services in far north Queensland.
It will be sad to no longer hear the rythmic beat of the current Bell 412 helicopters thumping through the sky with urgent medical traffic, however it will be exciting to the see the latest helicopter technology plowing the skies above Melbourne and Victoria.