Nepalese Army which has been aggressive in purchasing brand new aircraft since a long time is now fully ready to welcome its brand new Agusta AW139 Helicopter to serve VVIP Flight Service of Nepal.
As per the highly placed source, the Nepalese Army 2nd AgustaWestland’s AW139 Helicopter will acquire Nepalese Civil Registration. The brand new rotorcraft manufactured by AgustaWestland in Italy has already completed its assembly process and passed all its tests flight too. The helicopter carried its test flight from Varese-Venegono Airport, an Italian airport that supports military and leisure activities in Venegono Inferiore, North Italy. The rotorcraft carried out its test flight acquiring test registration ‘I-EASH’- C/N 31860 with its White Livery on Fuselage and Red stripes on belly; National flag on the tail boom. This is the very time this type of helicopter is being launched in Civil Registration in Nepali aviation industry.
Nepalese Army has already dispatcher its Flight Crews and Engineers along with the CAA Nepal Sr. Flight Operation Inspector (Helicopter) Retd. Brigadier General Mr. Gunjaman Lama for inspection of new Helicopter and type rating in the same rotorcraft. The defense force is in the pace of acquiring new helicopter to superseded the recently sold two Aérospatiale AS-332L-1 Super Pumas, an advanced chopper for VIPs, to China.
The helicopters to be stationed at the army’s central airbase would be used for the travel of VVIPs including the president, vice president, prime minister and foreign VVIPs visiting Nepal. “The helicopters could also be utilized in the event of natural disasters,” an army source said.
The AW139 Chopper delivery date has not been disclosed now but the another Indonesian manufactured CASA CN-235 aircraft which is also been purchased by NA is presently at Indonesian aerospace manufacturer PT Dirgantara (PTDI) Facility, Indonesian and is expected to join the Mid Air Base, Directorate General of Army Aviation, TIA by a couple of months.
Nepalese Army first AgustaWestland’s AW139 Helicopter had arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport on October 2018. The helicopter after making its maiden flight in Italy was transported in Nepal via containers in waterway and land way to be reassembled again for starting its service from Mid Air Base, Directorate General of Army Aviation inside Tribhuvan International Airport.
The AW139 delivers best-in-class performance with a maximum cruise speed of 165 knots (306 kph), a range in excess of 500 nm (927 km), the endurance of 5 hours and superior hover performance in hot conditions. It also has the largest cabin in its class, which can accommodate up to 15 passengers. The unobstructed cabin design allows maximum flexibility for different seating configurations and the transport of equipment. The baggage compartment provides a massive 3.4 cubic meters (120 cubic feet) of storage which is easily accessible from both the cabin and outside the helicopter.