Fireblade Aviation AW109 ZT-Rag feature image

Welcoming the AW109 helicopter to the fleet

We’re thrilled to announce that our fleet is growing with the addition of our newest aircraft, the AW109S Grand Helicopter, affectionately known as the AW109.

Here at Firelade Aviation we pride ourselves on being able to offer the most comfortable and efficient private charter service possible, and this is often dependent on being able to provide the best possible aircraft for any needs. We offer a complete fleet of aircraft to meet our guests’ unique needs, domestically or internationally, and all are capable of completing a range of diverse flight requirements.

Fireblade Aviation AW109 ZT-RAG 1

The AW109 is a power light twin-engine helicopter suited for both corporate and VIP travel and is known for its speed, performance and safety. It delivers on all the luxuries expected from a twin engine helicopter and has been configured with five VIP seats in the AW109 interior to ensure comfortable travel. With a range of 859 kilometres and a cruising speed of 284 km/per hour guests can enjoy an efficient travel experience suited to any busy schedule.⁠

Meet Fireblade’s helicopter pilot Xolani Vundla

No one is a bigger fan of the new addition than Fireblade’s in-house helicopter pilot Xolani Vundla, who has been with the company since our inception in 2014. Having fallen in love with aviation at a young age while growing up near the old Durban International Airport, Xolani first joined the Air Force in 2001 to realise his flying dreams, before joining the Fireblade team and taking responsibility for flying the AW139, AW109, and AW119.

What makes the AW 109S Grand Helicopter special?

According to Xolani, flying a helicopter is quite different to working with a fixed wing aircraft. “I enjoy flying helicopters because flying itself is so versatile. We not only transport people, but we use the platform to aid in disasters as well as security and humanitarian aid scenarios. No matter where we are called to, we answer the call!” he says. “For me it’s the adaptability, our missions are not always the same. We are generally always flying hands-on and not with the aid of the autopilot. I’d like to think we are always calm and level headed, most of the time anyway.”

Fireblade Aviation AW109 ZT-RAG 3

The addition of the new Agusta AW109S Grand to the fleet is significant for a few reasons. “It responds to the market demand for a helicopter that blends performance, speed, payload and flexibility. It’s a top of the range light twin, multirole helicopter, with the highest safety standard. The flying experience in the Grand is definitely one of pure comfort. For the passengers this helicopter boasts a spacious and quiet cabin. It’s private and well designed with luxurious finishes. For us the pilots it’s sleek, quick and has a state of the art glass-cockpit with all the technology [needed] for safety,” he says.

“The addition of the AW109 to the Fireblade fleet is definitely complimentary. There’s a high demand for twin engine helicopters and this light twin fills the void. [It] will be well suited for guests as it is the perfect size for an intimate group of people and is spacious and comfortable for fast and smooth transfer. Be it a quick weekend getaway, or airport transfer, the Grand will outperform many in its class.”

To learn more about the AW109, or to find out more about the Fireblade fleet, head to our charter page or enquire today.


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