AgustaWestland is preparing the way to possible final assembly of its helicopters in Brazil with plans to expand the São Paulo facilities of its local subsidiary. Construction is due to be completed by the end of 2014 and the enlarged facility will also be used to accommodate a training center, bonded warehouse, workshop space and a heliport.
Yesterday here at the LABACE show, AgustaWestland also announced several enhancements that will reduce maintenance and operating costs for its AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter. The company said the improvements covered by the new progressive maintenance program would give operators greater aircraft availability and utilization.
According to AgustaWestland, AW139 operators now can plan maintenance more efficiently. For instance, concentrating maintenance work at night–a move that will be especially useful for offshore oil and gas support operations, can maximize aircraft availability for daytime missions.
The program also includes an extension in the time between overhaul for the AW139’s main gearbox from 5,000 to 6,000 flight hours (a 20-percent improvement), and for the tail and intermediate gearboxes from 5,000 to 7,500 hours (50 percent). The TBO extensions are based on the service experience of more than 580 helicopters that have logged around 750,000 hours so far.