The AW139 is a twin-engine medium size helicopter that is ideally suited to a variety of roles ranging from VIP transport to fire fighting to search and rescue. Despite only flying for the first time in 2001, there are now over 1,100 examples in service around the world and the design has proved popular with both civilian and military operators including the US Air Force who call the helicopter the Grey Wolf and use it to protect Nuclear missile launch silo's. The AW139 has also been enlarged into the more powerful AW149 which is also appearing at this year's Air Tattoo in the flying display on the Friday. The example that is on static display at this year's Air Tattoo is operated by QinetiQ as part of the testing and training fleet of aircraft used to train the next generation of test pilots at the Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS).
Photo Credit: QINETIQ