Full Ice Protection System certification for the AW-189 helicopter
Farnborough, UK - It is the first super-medium class aircraft to have a FIPS
Leonardo-Finmeccanica announced the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the AW-189’s Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) clearing the way for the aircraft to operate in full icing conditions when other helicopters would be grounded. The EASA certification comes after three years of flight trials in Northern Europe and North America, during the winter months, to gather data and test the effectiveness of the system which includes electrically heated main and tail rotor blades, heated windscreens and an ice detection system. The standard AW-189 helicopter already includes an engine air intake heating system. The system is fully automatic once switched on by the pilot, allowing the pilot to concentrate on other flying activities. The FIPS is critical for operators flying in Northern Europe, Canada, Russia and the northern United States where icing conditions are common during the winter months. Almost 30 AW-189s are today in service in demanding operational conditions in Europe, USA, Middle East and South East Asia. The FIPS system is now available as an option on the AW-189 and follows certification of the Limited Ice Protection System (LIPS) in September 2015. LIPS permits flight within a known and defined envelope of icing conditions provided that the capability to descend into a known band of positive temperature is available throughout the intended route.
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