Royal Air Force to receive AW109SP GrandNew
Previously unannounced by AgustaWestland, it would appear that the Royal Air Force in the UK are soon to receive an AW109SP GrandNew.
In a sneak photo here, we can see the full standard 32 Squadron colour scheme including RAF roundels, the British flag on the tail and the squadron crest just below the cabin windows.
32 Squadron currently flies one helicopter – an AW109E Power. This is the last of their original order for three delivered in spring 2006, with operations gradually wound down to one aircraft due to public pressure on UK Government spending. Moving to a GrandNew – we assume this new aircraft will replace, rather than add to – will give a larger cabin
The helicopter is evidently planned for VVIP operations from a base at RAF Northolt. It has external floats and a wire-strike protection system in place. This is AgustaWestland serial 22347 and is flying on a typical Italian test registration.
NOTE – This photo is © Copyright 2015 of Marco Bianchi and used here with his express permission
With thanks to www.helihub.com