AgustaWestland AW119 Koala

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AW119 Koala
Agusta a119.jpg
Role Utility helicopter
Manufacturer Agusta, later AgustaWestland
First flight February 1995
Introduction 2000
Status Active in production
Primary users Mexico State Government
Finnish Border Guard
Produced 2000-present
Number built 200+ (2015) [1]
Unit cost
$USD 1.85 million in 2000[2]
Developed from Agusta A109
Agusta A119 Koala at HeliRussia 2008
Phoenix Police Department's 2006 A119 - side view
Life Flight Network AW119Kx N536LF on the helipad of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center - Vancouver, WA

The AgustaWestland AW119 Koala is an eight-seat utility helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine produced for the civil market. Introduced as the Agusta A119 Koala prior to the Agusta-Westland merger, it is targeted at operators favoring lower running costs of a single-engine aircraft over redundancy of a twin.[3]


The A119 designation was first applied to a proposed 11-seat stretched version of the A109 in the 1970s,[4] but this was never actually built. The helicopter that was eventually to enter production was conceived in 1994, as Agusta was recovering from the financial woes that had nearly put the company out of business,[5] and the second of two prototypes took to the air in February the following year.[2] The first prototype was used for static tests.[6] Civil certification was originally anticipated in 1997, but that deadline was missed with Agusta citing personnel problems, and a need to increase the performance of the aircraft to meet customer expectations.[2]

By way of a solution to the latter concern, the decision was taken to change the A119's powerplant. The prototypes were originally fitted with Turboméca Arriel 2K1 turboshafts, but the ubiquitous Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B was chosen in its place.[7] In 1998, the prototypes were remanufactured with this engine, and assigned new serial numbers.[6] Certification was now expected by the fourth quarter of that year, but this date slipped to July 1999, and it was eventually December before Italian RAI certification was awarded.[2] US FAA certification was awarded in February the following year.[2] Customer deliveries began soon thereafter,[2] with the first commercial example going to Australian logistics company Linfox (serial 14007, registration VH-FOX).[6]


The design itself was derived from Agusta's highly successful A109, but with only a single engine (as the A109 was originally designed)[5] and with fixed skids replacing the retractable wheeled landing gear. A key selling point is its wide-body fuselage, seating passengers three-abreast in the cabin, or allowing for two litters and medical attendants to be carried in the medevac role, whereas most similar-sized helicopters can only carry one.[3] The actual cabin volume is approximately 30% greater than other helicopters in its class.[7]

Operational history[edit]

In early 2015, AgustaWestland and Bristow Helicopters jointly offered an upgraded variant of the AW119 as a replacement for US Navy’s existing fleet of 117 Bell TH-57(based on the Bell 206) trainer helicopters under a fee-for-service contract; AgustaWestland and have claimed that over a four-year period the AW119 fleet could be introduced at an equal or lesser cost than the operating costs than continuing to operate the aging TH-57s.[8]


AgustaWestland AW119 Koala Ke at Wagga Wagga Airport
  • A119 - original production version (AW119 after Agusta-Westland merger)
    • AW119 Ke - redesigned rotors, greater payload, better fuel efficiency[9]
    • AW119 KXe - produced in Philadelphia, USA.[10]


 South Korea


 United States

Specifications (AW119Ke)[edit]

Data from AgustaWestland website[22]

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Flug Revue". Archived from the original on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  3. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  4. ^ Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 41. 
  5. ^ a b Simpson, R. W. (1998). Airlife's Helicopters and Rotorcraft. Ramsbury: Airlife Publishing. p. 33. 
  6. ^ a b c Gualdoni, Damiano. "Damiano Gualdoni Aviation Enthusiast's Website". Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  7. ^ a b World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 889 Sheet 32. 
  8. ^ Trimble, Stephen. "AgustaWestland, Bristow offer AW119 to replace US Navy TH-57 fleet." Flight International, 15 April 2015.
  9. ^ "AgustaWestland AW119Ke sales brochure" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  10. ^ Huber, Mark (3 March 2015). "AgustaWestland to build AW609 in Philadelphia". Aviation International News. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Helicopters". Safety & rescue services. Surf Life Saving Western Australia. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  13. ^ Mena Barreto (2010-08-30). "Estado de Goiás receberá 3 helicópteros AW119 Koala". Piloto Policial (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  14. ^ "The Finnish Border Guard Takes Delivery Of Its First AW119Ke". Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Korea National Police Agency takes delivery of an AW119Ke". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland and Weststar Sign Orders for Three Helicopters". Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  17. ^ "Mexico's State Gov't Air Rescue Unit Completes NGV Instructor Training". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "NYPD AW119 Fleet Achieve 20,000 Hour Milestone". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Cop shot takes koala". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "Aero-TV: Tristate Careflight -- Saving Lives One Flight at a Time". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  21. ^ "Life Flight Network Fleet Page". Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "AgustaWestland website". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 

External links[edit]