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The AgustaWestland, previous Agusta, A109 is a lightweight twin-engine high-speed helicopter that first flew in August 1971. The A109 has been extremely successful both as a VIP helicopter but also as an Air Ambulance. Several military operators have also operated the A109 including Belgium who use the helicopter in the anti-tank role. Both the RAF and the Army Air Corps have both also operated the A109, the RAF continue to operate the type as a VIP helicopter and the Army used to operate the type as the primary transport for the SAS. A strengthened and lengthened version of the A109 has been developed which uses more powerful engines, this is known as the A109S Grand.
Since its privatisation, QinetiQ have become a world centre of excellence for research and development. QinetiQ also operate the Empire Test Pilots School who have trained over 1,500 students in its 80-year history. To support this, QinetiQ operate a fleet of modern training aircraft which, when not in use to train test pilots, they are used to support research and development activities.
QinetiQ will be providing their A109S for static display at the year's Air Tattoo.
Photo Credit: Peter Reoch