AgustaWestland EH-101 / AW.101
AW.101 is a multirole helicopter developed in British-Italian cooperation and produced in the plants in English Yeovil belonging to the Leonardo group. AW.101 is an average size helicopter with a maximum take-off weight of up to 15 600 kg, optionally equipped with a rear ramp. The helicopter is built in the classic Sikorsky system. A drive system in a helicopter is composed of three turbine engines.
The AW.101 Merlin model has a conventional Sikorsky system. It uses advanced technologies, for example in the construction of rotor blades and avionics. The hull structure is modular and consists of an aluminum-lithium alloy supplemented with composites. AW.101 is designed to work in extreme weather conditions; is equipped with a de-icing system and adapted to work in temperatures in the range from -45 to +50 ° C. Control systems allow AW.101 to maintain a stable course with transverse winds up to 74 km / h (40 kn).
The active vibration control system, known as active control of the structural response system, reduces structural vibrations by up to 80%, which increases crew comfort and minimizes the build-up of material fatigue in the airframe. The cockpit is equipped with armored crew seats and can withstand an impact speed of more than 10 m / s. Two flight control stations are available, although AW.101 can be piloted by one person. The crew has six high resolution color screens and an optional mission display. A digital map or infrared (FLIR) screen can also be installed.
The AW.101 helicopter has all passive and active defense systems as options.
AW.101 is usually operated by a three-man crew: a pilot, an observer and a crew member / operator. The pilot is able to fly on most missions in the "hands-off" mode, guided by an advanced autopilot. All crew members have individual access to on-board management computers and tactical information.
The fuselage has a volume of 31.91 cubic feet, and the cargo space is 6.5 meters (21 feet) long, 2.3 meters (7 feet 7 inches) wide and 1.91 meters (6 feet 3 inches) high. The military version AW.101 can accommodate up to 24 seated soldiers with equipment. Alternative loads include a medical team and 16 stretchers with wounded or cargo pallets.
A 1,91-meter-high, 2.3-meter-wide ramp, can handle 3,050 kg (6,720 pounds), allowing you to carry vehicles such as Land Rover. The cab's ramp and floor are equipped with flat fastening points. The load hook under the fuselage can carry external loads of 5,440 kilograms (11,990 pounds) using a semi-automatic load releasing unit (SACRU).
The supporting rotor consists of five blades. Diameter 18.59 m. Rotor blades are made of carbon / glass with honeycomb nomex and rohacell foam, covered with a titanium alloy in a sandwich construction. The characteristic tips of the blades reduce acoustic noise.
AW.101 drive system
AW.101 is driven by three turbofan engines. Rolls-Royce / Turbomeca RTM322 and General Electric CT7 are two available types of engines. Rolls-Royce RTM322 was developed especially for AW.101. It was then adopted on helicopters WAH-64 Apache and NHIndustries NH90. According to Rolls-Royce, about 80% of the built AW.101 uses the RTM322 engine. Filters on the engine air intakes are an option.
Each engine is powered by a separate 1.074 liter fuel tank (276 US gallons) with double pumps. Optional additional two fuel tanks can be installed. Self-sealing fuel tanks are an optional element chosen by the customer. The same is the installation of nitrogen to fill the empty space in tanks.
The AW.101 helicopter can be equipped with an installation to collect fuel in flight.
The AW101 model uses a digital automatic flight control system (AFCS). AFCS allows the autopilot with four axes and automatic stabilization to operate, and is connected to the helicopter flight management systems. AFCS, produced by Smiths Aerospace, is a dual-duplex system using two on-board computers to provide redundancy and fault tolerance.
The AW.101 navigation system includes a GPS receiver and inertial navigation system, a 360 degree VHF (VOR) radio range, instrument landing system (ILS), TACAN and automatic direction recognition. The Mk1 and the Mk3 are equipped with a Doppler velocity system (DVS), which provides relative velocities on the ground. DVS is also connected to AFCS as part of the stabilization system. For safety reasons, the aircraft is equipped with an obstacle warning and obstacle avoidance system, traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) and voice data recorders and flight recorders.
The AW.101 is equipped with the Blue Kestrel search and detection radar, which can scan in the 360 degrees range and can detect small objects up to a range of 25 nautical miles.
The helicopter crew of AW.101 consists of 3-4 people. The helicopter takes 38 passengers or 26 armed soldiers or 5,000 kg cargo on board.
Data T-T AW.101
Fuselage length is 19.53 m
Diameter of the rotor 18.59 m
Surface of the rotor 271,51 m² (2,92,5 ft²)
Height 6.62 m Own weight 10,500 kg
Starting weight - maximum 14 600 kg
Top speed 309 km / h
Cruising speed 278 km / h
Nominal range 833 km
Operating cap 15,000 ft
Flight time maximum 5 hours’
Drive unit: 3 × Turbomeca RTM322-01 turbines with a capacity of 1566 kW.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman