AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) for the AW139 medium twin helicopter has achieved EASA Certification. This allows the AW139 to fly into known icing conditions with unprecedented all weather capabilities no other helicopters in its category can claim. FIPS Certification, achieved following an intense series of trials performed in North America, aims at completing the process that makes the multirole AW139 suitable to operate in the most diverse and harsh environment conditions. With the EASA certification received, approvals in accordance with FAA as well as TCAA (Canada) requirements are expected to be obtained soon, as the entire FIPS test campaign has been conducted since the beginning under the supervision and with the constant involvement of EASA, FAA and TCAA.
The AW139 FIPS certification campaign has seen the helicopter flying both into artificial and natural ice, verifying flight characteristics and system performance. Tests in artificial icing conditions were performed with the support of a US Army CH-47 HISS (Helicopter Icing Spray System) simulating ice clouds. During trials, the FIPS system has shown outstanding efficiency in ice protection, allowing the compliance to the stringent requirements. The AW139 helicopter has also demonstrated excellent flight performance and ample margins in a wide range of demanding icing conditions, well in excess of those normally encountered by helicopters in typical operating environments.