Agusta A109E

The Agusta A109E Power helicopter is operated by No 32 (The Royal) Squadron in the Command Support Air Transport (CSAT) role.

Capable of operating to confined off-airfield locations by day or night in all weather conditions and at short notice, this responsive platform provides UK defence with a short range, point-to-point CSAT capability. It enables UK and near Europe key leadership engagement for high priority personnel in support of operations and UK interests.

The Augusta A109E Power helicopter enables No 32 (The Royal) Squadron to deliver a safe, secure and responsive Command Support Air Transport (CSAT) capability for senior military commanders and Government Ministers in the UK and Europe. CSAT is the movement of small groups of high priority personnel or cargo by air and the A109 provides UK Defence with rapid and direct short range transportation to support worldwide operations and Government interests from home base. It can be flown by a single pilot, day or night and in all weather conditions to confined landing sites. With no requirement to be operated from an airfield or main operating base, the A109’s capabilities complement 32 Squadron’s fixed wing CSAT assets ensuring a seamless transport solution that gets the right people get to the right place at the time of their choosing.


  • Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney 206C Turboshafts
  • Thrust: 561shp each
  • Max speed: 168kts
  • Length: 13.07m
  • Max altitude: 10,000ft
  • Span: 10.99m
  • Aircrew: 1


Replacing the the Twin Squirrel helicopter, the A109 was delivered to 32 (The Royal) Squadron in 2006. The earliest A109s were built by Agusta in the late 1970s, while the Power derivatives stem from the mid 1990s. The aircraft is normally operated by a single pilot and can carry a total of eight people. It is a twin-engine turbine helicopter with a retractable undercarriage. Normally weighing approximately 2000 kgs this aircraft is cleared to operate at weights up to 3000 kgs.

It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney 206C engines, housed in independent fire-proof bays and controlled by Full Authority Digital Engine Control units. These reliable engines drive fuel and oil pumps as well as a generator for running all electrical services, which also acts as the engine starter. The twin-engine design gives the pilot more flexibility when planning routes over built-up areas, as the aircraft can operate at limited weights on a single engine. Even if power from one engine is lost, the aircraft can maintain height to clear a built-up area. The twin-engine design also increases safety margins when flying in and out of confined landing sites.

The rotor system comprises four main rotor blades and two tail rotor blades of composite construction. The main rotor head has elastomeric bearings, while the tail rotor is a teetering type, both driven by conventional gearboxes. The A109 has two independent hydraulic circuits both driven from the main rotor gearbox. One provides power to one side of the main servo jacks and gives servo assistance to the tail rotor. The other is connected to the other side of the main jacks and powers the utility services for undercarriage movement and braking. The fuselage is in two main parts; the main cockpit/cabin section and the tail boom. Both are of aluminium semi-monocoque design for lightness and strength and the main section is extremely crash-worthy.

The flight deck comprises two complete sets of glass pilot instruments and navigation systems. It has a three-axis autopilot, an autopilot coupled Instrument Landing System and a satellite-based Global Positioning System. There is also a Moving Map Display, weather radar and a Traffic Alerting System.

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