The AW119 is a single engine “light” helicopter, marketed globally as the “Koala”.
The helicopter is currently operated in 40 different countries with over 100 operators.
History and Development
The AW119 was originally developed as an 11-seat stretched version of the AW109. However, development then changed direction to take advantage of a perceived market requirement for a single engine utility helicopter with lower operating costs than twin engine helicopters of equivalent size.
The AW119 (or A119 as it was then) was first certified in 1999. The launch version had a P&WCPT6B-37A engine, skid type landing gear and a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of2,720Kg.
In 2007 a substantially updated version of the AW119 was developed – the AW119MkII, which was marketed as the AW119Ke (the “Ke” standing for “Koala enhanced”. The AW119Ke had increased engine performance and a higher MTOW (2,850Kg).
The latest version of the AW119 is the AW119Kx.
The AW119Kx has a Garmin G1000Nxi VFR glass cockpit for enhanced situational awareness. There is also an option to install a Genesys Aerosystems glass cockpit which is IFR approved by the FAA. Both glass cockpit options offer Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS),moving map and Helicopter Terrain Awareness System (HTAWS) with worldwide terrain and obstacle databases.
The AW119Kx also offers system redundancy similar to twin engine helicopters in regard to electrical, hydraulic and stability systems.
A military version of the AW119 designated the TH-119 has been chosen by the US Navy in support of its Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) program.
The AW119 has seen several incidents and accidents in its history. Many of these are in the Loss of Control (LOC) or Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) categories. Due to there being no requirement to install flight data recorders or cockpit voice recorders in this size of helicopter many incidents cannot be fully investigated to determine the root cause of the events.
The AW119 should be expected to have a strong future, continuing in its existing roles of utility, VIP, EMS and public service.
New production AW119s are likely to continue to enter the market on a regular basis. Leonardo originally produced AW119s at its facility in Vergiate, Italy but subsequently transferred production to its facility in Philadelphia, USA.
The mission-role deployment of the AW119 is as follows:
- 40% EMS
- 30% utility
- 25% VIP and private
- 5% public service
The helicopter’s weakness is its single engine. Many commercial operations stipulate a requirement for dual-engine performance. However, the reliability of the P&WC PT6B-37A is a counterweight to this issue together with the lower operating costs that come with running a single engine helicopter.
Costs and Values
AW119 operating costs are reported to be comparable with other helicopters in the light single category. It is cheaper to operate than twin helicopters of a similar size, such as the H135 and AW109.
There are very few AW119s available for dry lease and so it is not possible to provide an estimate regarding lease rental costs. We would however expect any AW119 offered on dry lease to be priced between 0.9% and 1.3% LRF.
The primary maintenance events on the AW119 are as follows:
- Hourly inspections at 200hrs, 400hrs, 800hrs and 3200hrs
- Calendar inspection at 12 months
Engine inspections are at 400hrs, 600hrs and 800hrs.
Engine overhaul intervals are:
- 4,500 hours for the power section and accessory gearbox
- 3,000 hours for the reduction gearbox
- Hot section Inspection at 1,500 hours
Power by the hour products
Leonardo offers a Complete Overhaul and Material Program (COMP) for the airframe components.
P&W offer a capped cost overhaul program as well as their:
- ESP (Eagle Service Plan)
- FMP (Fleet Management Program) for larger operators
- FSP (Fleet Service Plan) for fleets of up to five helicopters
The Leonardo Helicopters home page for the AW119:
The Wikipedia page for the AW119:
A table showing production totals for AW119 family from Deagel.com
A Wikidata page on the AW119 Koala
A Wiki2page on the AW119 Koala
US FAA special conditions for A119 and AW119 MKII relating to pressure refueling and fueling provisions (March 2021)
A comparison of the AW119 vs Bell 407 vs Airbus H125 by AvBuyer (August 2020)
European STC for Donaldson inlet barrier filter on AW119 Ke (September 2019)
Final accident investigation report for AW119 MKII by Government of India, Ministry of Civil Aviation (June 2017)
Flight Standardization Board (FSB) Report for the AW119MKII and G1000H from the US FAA (December 2013)
L-3Trilogy ESI for AW119 (June 2013)
AW119 MKII added to DART’s FAA STC (2008)
AW119 Ke – Koala enchanced unveiled at Heli-Expo 2007 (February 2007)
High visibility crew door for AW119 from Aeronautical Accessories
A cargo hook kit for the AW119 from Onboard Systems International
Air conditioning product sheets for the AW119
PUREair engine protection system for AW119 from Pall Corporation
A data sheet for the Donaldson inlet barrier filter for the AW119 Koala and AW119 Ke
AW119 Ke ems specification for sale from Blueberry Aviation