Agusta A109 performing to the limits of its capabilities

26. Juny 2017 7 Aktuality

Belgium A109  Demo Team is famous for  its spectacular dynamic displays. In the air pilots attack limits of the helicopter designed also for commercial service.

From Beauvechain Air Base to Slovakia

On 26 and 27 August in Sliač Captains Kevin Beckers and Stijn Soenens will represent the country that has participated in International Air Fest Days SIAF several times. In a dynamic display well - trained pilots taking part in more operations and military exercises under the umbrella of NATO or EUFOR show manouverable capabilities of the helicopter A109BA belonging to the 1st Wing of  the 17 Squadron based at Beauvechain. It is a ligthweight, twin- engine, multi-purpose helicopter built by the company AgustaWestland in Italy used for various roles including light tranport,medevac, search-and-rescue, and military roles.

A bit from the history

The Belgian Air Component was founded in 1909 and is one of the world´s oldest air services thanks to  King Artur´s interest in the military use of aircraft. A half of a century later helicopters Agusta A109 started writing their history. The first prototype powered by a single-engine and designed for civilian purposes remained as a draft and the development of twin-engine design started soon.

The first prototype with two Allison 250-C14 turboshaft engines was designed in 1969. The projected military version A109B was considered on but the company preferred the eight-seat A109C version. The maiden flight of the first of three prototypes was made in 1971 and after a testing phase the first production of helicopters was completed in 1975. A  year later the helicopter was used for commercial purposes.

The Agusta company´s  effort to manufacture a military version led to 5 A109As  equipped with anti-tank guided missiles BGM-71 TOW. Other two military versions  emerging  later were designed  for light attack/close air support (CAS)missions and shipboard operations.

Belgium makes Sliač its home

The Belgian Air Component has been represented by F-16 Fighting Falcon, Embraer ERJ-145, Agusta A109 BE, C-130 Hercules and Red Devils flying Marchetti SF 260. The A109 Display Team will follow its predecessors by an attractive performance having been  admired at several aviation events.

Captain Kevin Beckers, 30 years old A-109 Flight Leader and A109 Demo Team pilot has been flying since 2007 (2000 flight hrs) and this season will be the last one form him as a display pilot. He will be replaced by Stijn Soenens (1000 flight hrs)who has been flying since 2013 and as a A109 Element Leader since 2015.

Photogallery: www.mil.be

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