Leonardo is displaying an AW609 interior mock-up in search and rescue (SAR) configuration at the ongoing Dubai Airshow. This is the first time that an SAR configured AW 609 mock-up is on display in Dubai.
“There is lots of interest in this type of aircraft from Governments in the Middle and we believe there is a definite niche for this platform in the Middle East,” company officials tell Daily News.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) became the launch operator for the AW 609 SAR variant when its Joint Aviation Command (JAC) ordered three of the type in 2015 for SAR missions. “We are very close to finalising the deal and have minor details to finalise,” company officials inform.
The AW609 SAR can cover a distance of250nm in an hour as compared to the 120nm that can be covered by a helicopter.
The SAR interior on display at the show was fitted with a single stretcher, however it can be easily converted into a 2 stretcher layout.
The layout shown is thought to be closest to the SAR configuration that is of interest to users in the region.
There are two flying AW609 prototypes presently, which have logged over 1300 flight hours.
The AW609 recently devices.