SAMARATE, Italy, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Maintenance time and operating costs of AgustaWestland's AW 139 helicopter are being reduced through a progressive maintenance and life-extension program.
The Anglo-Italian company said the new maintenance program allows more efficient planning, especially for operators who need maximum availability for daylight missions and can resort to maintenance at night.
"The introduction of the progressive maintenance program has been achieved as a result of the strong cooperation and partnership set up between the company, through its Customer Support & Training and Engineering departments, and customers via a dedicated Maintenance Improvement Team," AgustaWestland said. "The new maintenance plan will reduce direct maintenance costs and further increase aircraft availability and utilization.
As part of the program company engineers have been able to extend the time between Overhaul for the aircraft's main gearbox -- from 5,000 flight hours to 6,000 flight hours -- and the tail and intermediate gearboxes from 5,000 flight hours to 7,500 flight hours.
The AW 139 is a medium-size, twin-engine aircraft in civilian and military variants and is often used for search-and-rescue, law enforcement and passenger transport missions. It has a maximum speed of more than 190 mph and a range of 573 miles.