Agusta News from Paris Air Show

 - October 10, 2006, 6:25 AM

The first A119 Koala built in the U.S. (destined for ERA Helicopters of Anchorage, Alaska) has flown for the first time. Seven months after opening its production facility in Philadelphia, Agusta rolled out the A119 for what proved to be a routine first flight.

In other AgustaWestland news, the PW206C-powered version of the A109 Power has won FAA and EASA certification for an increased internal gross weight of 6,600 pounds, contributing nearly 330 pounds of extra payload.

AgustaWestland has introduced a composite tail rotor blade on all new-build Powers. The rotor blade can be retrofitted to existing aircraft. Composite blades have five times the certified life of metal blades, require less maintenance and are quieter, says the company.

Finally, Bell/Agusta unveiled its first AB139 to be dedicated to emergency medical service (EMS) work. The aircraft, to be operated by Italian company Airgreen, will take on EMS duties during the Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, next year.