The AW189 is a medium-sized twin-engined helicopter with a five-bladed fully articulated main rotor, a four-bladed tail rotor and a retractable tricycle landing gear.
It is powered by two General Electric CT7-2E1 turboshaft engines.
AgustaWestland refer to the AW189 as being a “super-medium class” helicopter, emphasizing its suitability for long-range operations.
During development, the AW189 was designed to comply with the latest international regulatory safety requirements EASA/FAA Part 29, JAR OPS 3/EU-OPS.
Of particular importance to the type’s use for offshore operations, such as search and rescue and services to the oil and gas industries, the main gearbox has been designed to provide for a 50-minute run-dry capacity, in excess of requirements and a unique feature to the AW189.
Aspects of the AW189 are deliberately similar to the AW139 and AW169; these helicopters share similar flight performance characteristics, safety features, and design philosophies.
Areas of the aircraft’s operation, such as maintenance and the layout of the cockpit, also continue this concept, which reportedly makes operations more cost effective.
The cockpit features high levels of external visibility and advanced situational awareness technologies and is designed to reduce crew workload and enhance safety.
Avionics on the AW189 are fully integrated and include four colour LCD panels, a four-axis dual-duplex digital automatic flight control system, autopilot, search/weather radar, cockpit voice recorder, flight data recorder, night vision goggle-compatibility, health and usage monitoring system, moving map system, SATCOM, synthetic vision system, emergency locator system, helicopter terrain avoidance system (HTAWS), traffic collision avoidance system II (TCAS II), direction finder, forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera, and VHF/UHF radio.
The avionics were designed to use an open architecture, making customer-specified upgrades and additions easier and enabling additional options.
Dependent on the configuration, the AW189’s cabin can accommodate up to 19 passengers and two crew members on crashworthy seats.
According to AgustaWestland, the AW189 possesses the largest cabin in its class, which is accessed via large sliding doors on either side of the fuselage; a separate externally accessed baggage compartment is also present.
The interior is customised to the mission role being undertaken; these include a self-contained emergency medical service (EMS) layout, passenger configurations (with in-flight entertainment systems offered), mission consoles for SAR and law enforcement operations, and an optional dividing wall between the cockpit and main cabin may also be installed.
Under certain conditions and limitations, the rotorcraft can be flown by a single pilot.
Various pieces of optional equipment can be installed upon the AW189, including fast roping kits, external electric hoist, cargo hook, air conditioning, auxiliary fuel tanks, mission console, emergency flotation system (certified up to Sea State 6), external life rafts, emergency lighting, external search light, main cabin bubble windows, wire strike protection system, de-icing systems providing multiple levels of protection.