Safety by Design
The safety of our helicopters is the heritage of many decades’ experience in helicopter design and over a century of manufacturing and flying aircraft.

Transmission Run Dry Capability

Thanks to specific gearbox design, our helicopters can provide safe flight far beyond the minimum civil certification requirement of 30 minutes following a lubrication failure. Designed to withstand loads beyond operating limits and capable to maintain an optimised oil distribution even during system failure, main rotor transmission is to run dry as follows: over 40 minutes safe run dry for AW169, 60 minutes for AW139 and 50 minutes for AW189.




Pratt & Whitney’s PW210A and PT6C-67C engines, powering AW169 and AW139 respectively, are designed to include an inherent helicopter protection safety barrier in the unlikely event of rotor fragment release, by containing intermediate fragments from the mixed flow rotor and turbine stages, as well as small fragments from all compressor and turbine stages. This is a robust and reliable complementary safety feature to the whole helicopter risk minimisation system provided by Pratt & Whitney.

PT6C-67C Engine Cut-Away AW139



Flight handling and automatic flight control systems

Good controllability combined with stability are key factors in ensuring safe operations and are the result of one of our design pillars: superior performance, a balanced mix of automation and flight procedures, smooth handling and robust safe design beyond minimum certifications requirements. 

There are several specific modes and envelope protection features of our Automatic Flight Control Systems (AFCS), which provide crews with a reliable and automated safety net. 

Among others, the Wing Level function available on most of our designs is a good example, providing the pilot with an automated solution to help regain situational awareness in the event that spatial disorientation has resulted in undesired and unintended aircraft attitudes.

Avionics and navigation support

We invest in continuous technological improvement of on-board systems to offer new solutions for pilot workload reduction, further expansion of crew situational awareness, and state-of-the-art Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) all-weather operation flight solutions.

IFR navigation capability can greatly enhance the safety of helicopters flight operations. Our product range of civil helicopters have today fully certified Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) capabilities from B-RNAV (RNP5) to RNP0.3, all phases of flight, and RNP AR APCH up to RNP0.3 minima, and ready to take safety advantage of PBN certified routes and flight procedures. The PBN solutions together with the GLS (GBAS landing system) capabilities, already certified on the AW189, provide safe and precise flying paths from take-off to landing, with the potential to overcome weather dependencies. PBN capabilities are also available on the latest military products, ensuring new and greater operational flexibility. 

A Synthetic Vision System (SVS) is another very powerful instrument improving situational awareness and safety beyond standards. SVS is available on all our latest products, and on AW139 it has been integrated with Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (HTAWS), as provided by Honeywell Primus Epic System Phase 8. This constitutes a further improvement to pilots’ situational awareness, especially in marginal Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and night operations where the pilot benefits from automatic terrain and obstacle detection.