Newcastle aircraft profile day 5 – Irish Air Corps AW139

Day 5 of out Newcastle aircraft profile is the Irish Air Corps and their AW139 aircraft which is making its display debut in Newcastle, after being on static display in 2012. The IAC AW139 will be doing a fire fighting demo. Another first in Newcastle.

The Air Corps (Irish: An tAerchór) is the air component of the Defence Forces of Ireland.Through a fleet of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, it provides military support to the Army and Naval Service, together with non-military air services such as Garda air support, air ambulance, fisheries protection and the Ministerial Air Transport Service. The primary airbase is Casement Aerodrome located at Baldonnel, County Dublin.

The main flying wings of the Irish Air Corps are

No. 1 Operations Wing carries out all fixed wing tasks and operations assigned to the Air Corps. The wing is sub divided into six separate operational squadrons, each fulfilling its own specific roles. The wing currently operates a total of ten aircraft. In addition, the wing is responsible for first line maintenance of all aircraft assigned to it.

No. 3 Operations Wing carries out all rotary wing tasks and operations assigned to the Air Corps. The wing is sub divided into three separate operational squadrons, each fulfilling its own specific roles.
The wing currently operates a total of eight aircraft, with six Augusta Westland AW139’s and two Eurocopter EC-135’s. In addition, the wing is responsible for first line maintenance of all aircraft assigned to it.

The Aircraft

The Air Corps took delivery of its first two Agusta Westland AW139 aircraft in November 2006. There are currently six of the type in service.

The AW139 is a medium-lift twin-engine helicopter with a troop lifting capacity of up to 14 personnel in the normal configuration. In the cockpit the aircrew have a fully integrated digital avionics and cockpit display system, which includes an autopilot, a dual flight management system with GPS and a radio navigation system. The AW139 is utilised mainly in the army support role.

The AW139 is a multi role aircraft and can be used for Army support, air ambulance, military transport and general utility roles.

The first flight of an AW139 was on 3rd February 2001 and was originally designed and developed jointly by Agusta and Bell Helicopters and marketed as the Agusta-Bell AB139, it was redesignated the AW139 when Bell withdrew from the project.

The Irish Air Corps was the first military operator of the type.

Check back on Monday for another Newcastle Aircraft Profile! Photo by ourselves at Bray 2016 and info from IAC website and Wikipedia.

Newcastle Festival of Flight's photo.
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