Finmeccanica Helicopters (née AgustaWestland) announced this week that it is repurposing the military light single SW-4 to a civilian AW009.
Subsidary PZL Swidnik manufactures the SW-4, and since its inception in 2002, only 40 units have been built, most bound for the Polish military. With the AW009, Finmeccanica hopes to capture a small portion of the civilian turbine light single market, which is relatively open at this point.
A company representative said the AW009 will go through a design update that the company hopes will result in a mid-2016 certification, with deliveries to begin early next year. The panel will be upgraded to a Genesys Aerosystems electronic flight information display, the hydraulic system will be updated, and some effort will be made to reduce vibration. The manufacturer is working with AAL USA, Inc. as a certification partner.
An engine upgrade also may be on the table, although a final decision about whether to adopt the program hasn’t yet been made. The SW-4 operates with a Rolls-Royce 250-C20R rated at 457 shaft horsepower. Finmeccanica is looking at the potential of upgrading to the -30 variant, which is rated at 650 shp.
The AW009 will seat up to five, and Finmeccanica said it will keep the price to less than $2 million.