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A109 LUH

3SQN conduct their annual mountain flying training using A109 helicopters during Exercise BLACKBIRD at Dip Flat Camp, Upper Wairau Valley. This EX provides helicopter pilots and air crew with critical high altitude training for Search and Rescue Operations as well as showcasing the rotary capability and it's value-add to RNZAF, NZDF and wider New Zealand.

The A109 Light Utility Helicopter is operated by No. 3 Squadron RNZAF.

The RNZAF has a fleet of five AgustaWestland A109 Light Utility Helicopters (A109LUH). They are a lightweight, twin-engine aircraft with a modern glass cockpit and a retractable wheeled undercarriage.

The A109LUH is part of the Defence Force helicopter training system that includes computer based training, a virtual interactive procedural trainer, a simulator and helicopters.

This provides the Defence Force with a cost effective means of training aircrew prior to operational conversion onto the NH90 or SH-2G(I) helicopters. In addition to its training role, the A109LUH is used in various operational roles conducting light utility tasking.

Aircraft A109 LUH
Manufacturer AgustaWestland (Italy)
Power plant Two Turbomeca Arrius 2K2 turboshaft engines capable of producing 609 Shaft horse power (SHP) each. The transmission system is rated for a maximum of 900 SHP (normally 450 SHP x 2)
Length 12.939m
Fuselage Length 11.429m
Rotor diameter 10.830m
Height 3.421m
Empty weight 2200kg
Undercarriage Retractable tricycle (wheeled)
Maximum take-off weight 3175kg (3200kg with external load)
Useful load on cargo hook 400kg
Rescue hoist Can lift 270kg or two people
Max cruise speed 285kph
Normal ferry range 650km
Normal endurance 3 hours 30 minutes
Crew Two pilots, one helicopter loadmaster
Seating The A109LUH has two pilot seats and a maximum of six seats in the rear cabin
Equipment Glass cockpit (fully Night Vision Goggle compatible) with moving map, advanced flight management system, four-axis autopilot, fitted with radios for interoperability with the Defence Force, other military partners and civil agencies, Nightsun searchlight and emergency floats
Armament Single pintle mounted 7.62mm MAG 58 Machine Gun
Protection Full cockpit and rear cabin ballistic protection