Italian Army says goodbye to A109 helicopter

Italian Army farewell A109 helicopter
Italian Army A109 helicopter takes off from Viterno heliport, Southern Italy, for its last flight.

The Esercito Italiano (Italian Army) said goodbye on Thursday to the A109 (MRH 109A) helicopter. The type was withdrawn from service after 45 years of honorable service.

The A109 "Hirundo" was developed and manufactured in the 1970s by the Italian company Agusta as a light twin-turbine helicopter, with retractable landing gear, fast and equipped with effective stabilization and safety systems. It entered the AVES (Aviazione Esercito - Army Aviation) fleet starting from 1976. During its long career, the 109 was employed in various AVES departments throughout the country, from Casarsa della Delizia, North Italy to Catania, South Italy. Although the A109 has mainly carried out liaison missions, it has also performed very well operational reconnaissance, observation and air transport activities.

The last 109, based at the AVES Training Center, took off from the "Chelotti" heliport in Viterbo towards the 1st AVES "Idra" Support Regiment in Bracciano, Rome, to be subjected to the technical-administrative procedures for "out of service". The Italian Army began last year to replace the type with the modern Leonardo AW169 LUH helicopter.

The AVES said that, while aiming for continuous evolution and modern technology, it will never forget the planes and the men who made its history.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: Italian Army

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