Black Widow Replacement Review

The Huey and recently the Huey II have been the aircraft of choice for many governmental agencies worldwide. They have proven themselves to be an effective and resilient workhorse which fills a unique operational niche.

With a focused maintenance and modernization program, the Black Widow will be a valuable and cost-effective asset for many years to come. With that in mind, a review of the replacement options should be considered to verify the validity of the Black Widow’s value to the agency’s operational needs.

One option for replacement of the Huey is the new generation Leonardo AW139. The AW139 is designed and built from the ground up with modern materials and processes and in certain areas can outperform the older generation Huey or Huey II.

The question is whether the additional performance gained with the AW139 is a cost-effective solution for the operational requirements.

Black Widow & AW139 Comparison

Additional Logistics

  • Spares will need to be purchased for the new aircraft
  • Twin engine will require more engine spares
  • Additional logistics with a new aircraft type
  • New & unknown supply chain will need to be established
  • Additional pilot and maintenance crew training
  • Lack of operational knowledge, learning curve

We Compared these Helicopters

New Aircraft Price

Direct Operating Costs