Leonardo Helicopters has announced plans to revise downwards the official fuel consumption figure of its AgustaWestland AW189 super-medium-twin model, owing to an improvement of between 4 and 7 per cent.
The mission profile-dependent revision has been validated through a series of test flights in conjunction with GE Aviation, which supplies the helicopter’s CT7 engines. It has been based on operational feedback and information collated via flight-recorder and helicopter usage monitoring system data.
According to Fabio Nannoni, senior vice president of engineering, the fuel-burn figure is down from near 480kg/h to around 440kg/h, based on a typical oil and gas mission with engines at 80% torque.
“Operators have been asking why we published such penalising figures when they have seen fuel consumption which has been better than expected,” said Daniele Romiti, managing director of engineering, admitting it initially “undersold” the AW189.
The AW189’s flight manual will be updated in light of the fuel consumption revision, allowing operators to make more accurate performance calculations.
In addition, the airframer is to deliver further improvements as part of its “phase 5” software update at the beginning of 2018, including both LPV and oil rig approach capabilities.